© 2016 Barbara Grace Lake

 

Ah, nine, a happy perfect age,
For laughing, playing, make believe
My playmates, some are even real,
assist in building fortress eave

As king or queen and even mage
We rule this realm of wondrous nine
As doughty knights we fight with zeal
With cardboard sword or carabine

To guard against fantastic fiends
Or djinns our parents cannot know
Beyond belief in things unseen
Not ever me, I will not grow

Or watch as castled clouds on high
Give birth to lions, dragons, too
From safety crouched behind the hedge
Go charging forth all bandits strew

Invincible we occupy
A special place, a private den
From which we make a solemn pledge
Whatever else, we won’t be ten.

As days passed by I reached fifteen
An age beyond all myths and toys
Recalling nine in wistful dreams
Far from my life of lipstick, boys