We present this work in honor of the 55th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Late, late last night, when the whole world slept,
Along to the garden of dreams I crept.
And I pulled the bell of an old, old house
Where the moon dipped down like a little white mouse.
I tapped the door and I tossed my head:
“Are you in, little girl? Are you in?” I said.
And while I waited and shook with cold
Through the door tripped me—just eight years old.
I looked so sweet with my pigtails down,
Tied up with a ribbon of dusky brown,
With a dimpled chin full of childish charme,
And my old black dolly asleep in my arms.
I sat me down when I saw myself,
And I told little tales of a moonland elf.
I laughed and sang as I used to do
When the world was ruled by Little Boy Blue.
Then I danced with a toss and a twirl
And said: “Now have you been a good, good girl?
Have you had much spanking since you were Me?
And does it feel fine to be twenty-three?”
I kissed me then, and I said farewell,
For I’ve earned more spanks than I dared to tell,
And Eight must never see Twenty-three
As she peeps through the door of Memory.