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Contributor Series 11: On Birthdays, After the Birthday


06.21.12 Posted in Contributor Series 11, words to linger on by

Contributor Series 11: On Birthdays
After the Birthday
By Rae Spencer

Remember when you sometimes got

Exactly what you wanted

And it was what you wanted?

Remember when the things you wanted
Were gettable? And real?

Remember six? Or nine?

Never at twelve, never at anything teen
Twenty happened to discover
How wanting made the getting better
And less likely

Then thirty realized wanting
Was another form of leisure
A luxury for the young

Who sometimes got exactly
What they wanted, and knew

Want was all they needed

Enough want, enough true want
Innocent and pure, hard and honest
Wishes and prayers and tears
The knotted path of relentless
Scheme and plots, for that one thing

The only thing you wanted, ever
And sometimes it came
In a box or a bag, tromping
Through the frosted door

On some special day
With candles and lights and joy
When the knot slipped loose

In magician hands, and you got
Exactly what you wanted

And you would never want again

Rae Spencer’s most recent poem to appear here was The Congresswoman’s Brain (May 2012).




2 Responses to “Contributor Series 11: On Birthdays, After the Birthday”

  1. Jean says:

    Remarkable, Rae. So much truth in one poem. And, yes, I do…”Remember when the things you wanted
    Were gettable? And real?”

    Thank you!
    Jean

  2. And sometimes it came
    In a box or a bag, tromping
    Through the frosted door

    you’re a winter birthday. all summer to dream up new toys to want, all winter to wait til spring to try them out. seems like it would teach patience.
    nice piece.
    Karen :0)

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