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.