“Back when the earth was new and heaven just a whisper,
Back when the names of things hadn’t had time to stick;
back when the smallest breezes, melted summer into autumn,
when all the poplars quivered, sweetly in rank and file…
the world called, and I answered. Each glance ignited to a gaze.
I caught my breath and called that life, swooned between spoonfuls of lemon sorbet.
I was pirouette and flourish, I was filigree and flame.
How could I count my blessings when I didn’t know their names?
Back when everything was still to come, luck leaked out everywhere.
I gave my promise to the world, and the world followed me here.”
– RIta Dove, “Testimonial”