To Annette in December

To Annette in December - A poem by Jack Miles for Annette Smith

December 5, 2004. 80th birthday celebration, Annette Smith.
"Thou art not old/At such a time but timeless "

Shall I compare thee to a winter day?
Thou art more stormy, yes, but far less cold.
Thy queenly gaze surveys from thy stronghold
The spouting whale, the sportive seals that bray,
The lads and lasses at their seaside play,
And all the madness that the sunset gold
Bathes in brief forgiveness. Thou art not old
At such a time but timeless as a stray
Gull motionless and white above the cliff
Seems always to have been there, pure, undying
And unborn, a thing apart, yet sudden, fine,
And part of all that is to come. So if
This wintry night thy subjects are found sighing
O'er their wine, drink, Madame, to their love with thine.