‘Twas the day before her birthday and all through the house everything was normal, there was no mouse.
The big dog was curled on her loveseat again, leaving room for her to sit with her pen,
but the poet was sleepy so she stayed at her desk hoping that typing would make up for the rest.
Today’s the last day that she’ll be 68, her birthday is coming, and yes, she can wait.
Her back it is aching, her feet are in pain, and her hair is coming out wrong once again.
The pressure is mounting for her natal day, must make it special, but how, in what way?
She’s living alone in her house in the woods and no one is coming—COVID–it’s understood.
She’s thinking she’ll buy herself a cake with gooey white frosting or buy a mix to bake,
maybe get a big fat burger and a vanilla shake, but she’s lactose intolerant, oh well, just the cake.
A card or two may arrive in the post, but it’s likely on Facebook she’ll get the most
birthday greetings from friends far and near; she’ll “like” them, the next day they’ll all disappear.
She’ll wait for packages outside her door when really she needs to go to the store
because her day is senior discount day and dog food is pricey so she’ll go, okay?
And maybe the birthday fairy will come but probably not because there isn’t one
and an unwatched United Parcel truck is more likely to come, that’s the luck,
and 69 looks a lot like 68, but oh my God, 70, there’s a sad fate,
but never mind, it hasn’t happened yet, day by day, let’s all forget
because age is just a number, true, it’s who you are and what you do
and she’s got good genes although her jeans are ripped but it doesn’t show,
she’s lucky she made it to 69, lonely yes, but mostly fine.
Except for the aching back and feet, in her head she’s only 17,
and that’s the way she plans to stay until her far-off dying day.
When she sings “happy birthday to me,” for once the song will be on key.
Okay, so I got a little crazy with the rhyming this morning, but hey, birthdays for grownups are not what they were when we were kids. I used to wake up surrounded by presents my mom had sneaked onto my bed. I opened them before breakfast–which was whatever I wanted to eat. I wore new clothes to school, the teacher made a big deal of my birthday, family came over in the evening with more presents, and there was cake, so much cake. My favorite was when my mom made chocolate cake frosted with Cool Whip.
At my age, it’s different. My father used to say “it’s just another day,” but it’s not. I know I’ll be awake, chanting “I’m 68, I’m 68,” waiting for the clock to strike 4:10 a.m., the time that I was born at the old O’Connor Hospital in San Jose. I tell myself I won’t, but I will. Maybe it’s a Pisces thing. Happy b-day to all my March-born friends and family. We are special.
This week, I have lowered the price on the Kindle version of my most recent book, Love or Children: When You Can’t Have both, to 99 cents. How can you resist that? While you’re on the Amazon page, click my name, see all my books and buy a few. That would be a nice birthday present.
This is my 600th post at Unleashed in Oregon! Happy birthday to the blog, too. Thank you all for reading what I write. If you like it, spread the word.