DPF / Collins

For a year which doesn’t seem all that long ago, especially when one was born in the 60’s, from The Rain in Portugal.

from 1960 / by Billy Collins

The quieter bass solo just reveals
the people in the club
who have been talking all along,
the same ones you can hear
on some well-known recordings.

DPF / Baudelaire

For sharing your gifts, from Paris Spleen, translated by Louise Varèse.

from The Fairies’ Gifts / by Charles Baudelaire

I refer to the law that, in such a case as the present when gifts run short, gives a Fairy the power to accord one more gift, provided she has imagination enough to create one on the spot.

DPF / Collins

For the school year which nears an end, from The Apple that Astonished Paris.

from Schoolsville / by Billy Collins

Glancing over my shoulder at the past,
I realize the number of students I have taught
is enough to populate a small town.

I can see it nestled in a paper landscape
chalk dust flurrying down in winter,
nights dark as a blackboard.

DPF / Collins

For your birthday and for the sweet sixteen we celebrate today, from The Rain in Portugal.
from December 1st / by Billy Collins
I imagine they had you wrapped up tight,

 and there was your tiny pink face 

sticking out of the bunting,

and all those McIsaacs getting used to saying your name.