To a Six Year-Old on Fifth Avenue: A Sonnet by Betsy K. Brown

To a Six Year-Old on Fifth Avenue: A Sonnet

The coldest winter in a hundred years.
You weave your small pink scooter through the mob
Of coats and shouts and shoppers. I chase you,
Ice in my lungs, city-din in my ears.

We watch the Christmas windows flash and dance
Like bright ballet upon your wind-burned cheeks—
Your mittened hand takes mine. You stop, entranced;

And then I turn my head. Across the street
Saint Patrick’s cathedral looms silently
And stares with unlit windows, dim and peaked.

And from our clasped hands on this crux of street
Two roads branch out—one into shadows tall,
The other into fairy-light, but both
Into the place where sound and silence meet.

by Betsy K. Brown

Editor’s Note: This sonnet’s lively imagery provides the perfect backdrop to the sublime, quiet joy of the last two lines. 

3 thoughts on “To a Six Year-Old on Fifth Avenue: A Sonnet by Betsy K. Brown

  1. The meter with Saint Patrick’s captures “looms” perfectly, leading to the architectural pun, and a corresponding pun on “peaked,” but none of this seems too clever, and leads nicely to “clasped” and “crux.” The strong conclusion suggestions both roads were taken.

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