Judith Wright, 'Counting in Sevens'
Seven ones are seven.
I can't remember that year
Or what presents I was given.
Seven twos are fourteen.
That year I found my mind,
Swore not to be what I had been.
Seven threes are twenty-one.
I was sailing my own sea,
First in love, the knots undone.
Seven fours are twenty-eight;
Three false starts had come and gone;
My true love came, and not too late.
Seven fives are thirty-five.
In her cot my daughter lay,
Real, miraculous, alive.
Seven sixes are forty-two.
I packed her sandwiches for school,
I loved my love and time came true.
Seven sevens are forty-nine.
Fruit loaded down my apple tree,
Near fifty years of life were mine.
Seven eights are fifty-six.
My lips still cold from a last kiss,
My fire was ash and charcoal-sticks.
Seven nines are sixty-three; seven tens are seventy.
Who would that old woman be?
She will remember being me,
But what she is I cannot see.
Yet with every added seven.
Some strange present I was given.