This poetic tribute to Leap Year was debuted in an invitation-only, private salon reading in the home of the author on February 29, 2004. Some will remember that special occasion. . .. .
ODE TO LEAP YEAR
How oft the clock we wish to turn back to an earlier time,
To celebrate a bygone day we now view as sublime,
To be ourselves once more as we believe that we once were,
As babe-in-cradle, tot or teen, any age we might prefer
To this one. Where we are right now. The unforgiving present.
Where we can only dream a past that memory turns so pleasant.
But stay a moment. Listen up. For this year something’s different.
For this year February has all twenty-nine days in it!
It’s thank ye to Pope Gregory that only leap kiddies may wander
Once every four years backwards where our memories find it fonder.
So this year, leap kids round the world can shout a ‘Hallelujah!’
And turn deaf ears when folks say to us,
“You don’t have a REAL birthday….. Do ya’?”
Of course we do! But not like you who count the years by onesies.
We count our birthdays one in four, growing hardly past our twenties.
We live in a perpetual state of youthful animation
As we calculate our leap birthdate with neat multiplication.
By the time we’ve lived four years we’ve really just completed one.
And when we’re twenty, we turn five. Our schooling’s just begun.
Thirteen times four, our thirteenth year, we’re in our adolescence.
Nineteen times four, not twenty, and full of effervescence!
Oh, time passes for us too. We know. The mirror doesn’t spare us.
Those years between we’re just like you who age as each year passes.
But every four there’s Februar’ with all its days in order,
And we revert to young-at-heart and shout a happy chorus.
Praise leap year then!
Send out to find that special Jack or Jane!
And raise a cheer to those this year who’ll be younger once again.
Amy De Rosa