Treasure Island

Kenneth Koch

(27 February 1925 – 6 July 2002 / Ohio / United States)

Poem For My Twentieth Birthday


Passing the American graveyard, for my birthday
the crosses stuttering, white on tropical green,
the years’ quick focus of faces I do not remember . . .


The palm trees stalking like deliberate giants
for my birthday, and all the hot adolescent memories
seen through a screen of water . . .


For my birthday thrust into the adult and actual:
expected to perform the action, not to ponder
the reality beyond the fact,
the man standing upright in the dream.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Edited: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

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