Somewhere, in the damp mold
and earthen rot of a Georgia landfill,
all the old pages of her calendars
are steadily feeding worms.
She tears them slowly now,
often stealing another day;
searching for smaller places
on the month's featured landscape.
She often wondered what
she could be when she grew up.
Still, she cannot feel herself grown up.
She might have grown away.
She counts all the years of her life,
and holds each warm day in her hand.
But counting does not bundle the days
into anything greater than moments.
Those speeding numbers
are quickly divisible by infinite
regrets, and missed opportunities
to become something different.
Now, the burning wonder is
what she can be before she dies.
There is an urgent need to become more
than torn pages, and soft fodder for worms.
Shirley A. Alexander
Shirley Alexander's Other Poems
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