birth day


I wrote this on my 24th birthday … 34 years ago today. I was able to share it back then with my mom, and I’m grateful for that. I miss her every day, and especially on my birthday.


Today
I’m blowing out the flames
of 24 small candles
and wishing on a dream
and eating cake and ice cream
and listening to congratulations
from everyone who cares to wish me
yet another year
but somehow this all seems
backwards
turned around and upside
down

I’m the star today
but it’s you who made it
possible

you who decided
with a gleam in your eye
that I would be me
(or was shocked to find me growing there
as the case may be)

you who risked your life
at forty-five
because you wanted me
to live

you who suffered
morning sickness
backaches
headaches
midnight sweats and
nightmares
and the silent stares
that pregnant ladies
get

you who went through
labor pains and
anesthesia
and being alone in cold white rooms
with your fear that I might be
born deformed or
dead

and finally
it was you
who held your baby girl
so tiny and so perfect
and felt the joy so strongly
that I think I felt it too
even at that moment

Today
they’re celebrating me
but I
am celebrating you

Thanks, Mom.

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