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Nine Does Not Equal Nine

By Terresa Wellborn

And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be, are full of trees and changing leaves.
-Virginia Woolf

Just for today, nine does not equal nine,
it is another sum,
an age that perches,
a celebrated page,
a heap of advice, murmured predictions,
spells grafting you to me as the girl you are,
not the woman you will be.

My daughter,
how you root to branches,
branch to leaves,
leaf to sun,
weather my watery crusades,
prune my crooned longings,
shrug off this ninth season
as you surely will tuckings-in
from the gowned sky.

I linger in our darkening soil,
tracing tales on your boughs,
measuring palms,
counting our patterned rings.

About Terresa Wellborn

Terresa Wellborn has been published in BYU Studies, Dialogue, and several anthologies including Fire in the Pasture, Monsters and Mormons, and Dove Song: Heavenly Mother in Mormon Poetry. She has a BA degree in English Literature and a MLIS degree in Library and Information Science. Her joys include her four children, books, and chocolate babka. She reads faster than she hikes, runs faster than she writes, and has often been mistaken for Miss Frizzle. When not on a mountaintop, she prefers to dwell in possibility.

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