On Our Eleventh Anniversary

You're telling that story again about your childhood,   
when you were five years old and rode your blue bicycle   

from Copenhagen to Espergaerde, and it was night   
and snowing by the time you arrived,   

and your grandparents were so relieved to see you,   
because all day no one knew where you were,   

you had vanished. We sit at our patio table under a faded green   
umbrella, drinking wine in California's blue autumn,   

red stars of roses along the fence, trellising over the roof   
of our ramshackle garage. Too soon the wine glasses will be empty,   

our stories told, the house covered with pine needles the wind   
has shaken from the trees. Other people will live here.   

We will vanish like children who traveled far in the dark,   
stars of snow in their hair, riding to enchanted Espergaerde.

Poem copyright ©2007 by Susan Browne. Poem reprinted from Mississippi Review Vol. 35, nos. 1-2, Spring 2007, and reprinted by permission of the author and publisher.
Source: 2007
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