"Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny." —E. Haeckel

How many years did I spend not looking
at white birches (now late in winter sun)
outside this window of my upbringing?

The trees were there to miss whenever
I mowed the lawn, or played ball,
and left home—while they grew, slowly,
and mindlessly, to present perfection.

A spinning globe on the desk maps out
the motley adventures of my evolution...
But where I haven't been is vaster—

What I haven't done, what I haven't seen,
whom I haven't loved—all nots knotted
into a four-dimensional self as tightly
as what happened—the real and the anti-real

growing to perfection, or completion,
and finally, a blank page:
                                              white as birches