WHEN a poet starts as young as Edna St. Vincent Millay (opposite page), perhaps she would forgive a neighboring selection of metaphor and other imagery from children's everday speech. Here are certificate recipients in this cateogory from our ''what children say'' competition.
June described her first day of kindergarten. ''We walked out to the bus in two lines -- we were like a walking 11.'' -- Chris and Carol Cheney, Carmichael, Calif.
Sleeping John, 4, was being carried from the car up a steep incline when there was a stumble and a tumble. ''Moira, you split me.'' -- Moira Castle, St. Louis
Remy, 6, said: ''Lonely is when you're playing in the snow and there's no one to laugh with.'' -- Pauli Carreiro, South Weymouth, Mass.
Thao Le picked up a feather during a kindergarten nature walk. ''Look, Mrs. Hagan, a bird leaf!'' -- Joan K. Hagan, West Hartford, Conn.
My daughter, 1 1/2, woke from her nap and pointed at round shapes cast on the wall through the Venetian blind. ''Oh, sun cookies!'' -- Nickii Campbell, Elsah, Ill.
Molly, 4 1/2, sighed as she mixed cookie dough. ''I'm tired of stirring -- my arm is out of breath.'' -- Patty Sue Gildart, Spring Branch, Texas
Reid, 3, made an exuberant exit from the bathroom. ''I flushed! Can you hear the toilet singing?'' -- Jenny and Tim Smucker, Orville, Ohio
Nancy, 5, showed a guest her latest loose tooth. ''Pretty soon my mouth will be bald.'' -- Barbara H. Graves, White Cloud, Mich.
Amanda, 5, wanted to protect her nursery school teacher, who was cutting weeds early one morning. ''Mullo, get out of that grass beofre tou get snakered.'' -- Jenan (Mullo) Mullen, Grosse Ile, Mich.
Craig, 7, was shocked to see his older cousin wearing shorts one balmy winter day. ''Hey, it's still too cold for short-sleeve plants!'' -- Deborah Saul, Monroe, Mich.
Robin, 4, ran into the kitchen one spring day in Conneticut. ''Mommie, Mommie , come and see, there's marshmallows blooming on the apricot tree.'' -- Margaret D. Scofield, San Diego
Jackie, a day before turning 2, was looking through the window of a car driving east at 6:30 a.m. ''The sun -- it's biting my eyes!'' -- Adrienne M. Tindall, Kenilworth, Ill.
''Uh oh, bende thinking!'' said Lucas, 3. ''That's when my mind thinks of something, turns a corner, and thinks of something else.'' -- kathryn I. O'Connell, Idyllwild, Calif.
Donald, 6, gazed out the car window at the dawn sky. ''Look, Mama, the day in unfolding.'' -- Dorothy Crighton, Laguna Hills, Calif.
The four-year-old was struggling uphill on his tricycle. ''My feet are all out of gas.'' -- Sheila A. Kinross, Don Mills, Ontario
Jenny, 3, saw her first sunrise. ''Oh, look, the sun's having a party.'' -- Claire Hawley, Hyde Park, Mass.
Was Katie, 5, still scaring people as she had as a witch on Halloween? ''No, I worn out my weird.'' -- Elizabeth C. Hoeschle, Searsport, Maine
Going-on-2 watched one big plane take off and saw another on the ground. ''He's snoozing with his blankie.'' -- Audrey A. Cox, Schenectady, N.Y.
Carolyn, 9, was looking at paintings with her parents. ''A museum is a place where you muse while you see'em.'' --Robert and Gloria Nicol, Des Moines