Song for Natalie

Tired and overcome
with the fragrance of lilac
I sink into my chair.
Cold wine and the pale spring moon.

Suddenly, Natalie, my neighbors’
young daughter is running
into the coming darkness,
shouting angrily that she is old
enough, old enough, old enough.

She has not noticed the moon.
Is not drunk with lilac and the dying
lavender sky; does not know that she is not
old enough, but that with each step
into the terrible darkness she moves closer
to that moment when she too will stagger
into the face of beauty,
the heart knowing its burden,
when the brilliant moon
and the sweet lilac, and the quiet night
are enough.