Contributor Series 11: On Birthdays
By Dan Barkye
My mother always told me it was
she who made me on that day,
my B Day.
It came from nowhere,
as an affirmation not to be denied,
and said in many ways.
Not least by holding me near her,
day in, day out.
Feeding me like a foodmine,
from her wide open mouth,
a motherbird to her chick.
Calling me home by the
end of a games’ day,
nursing my childhood wounds,
my silly, innocent wounds.
She was there when a mighty competitor
took me away from her, The Army,
looking at me with apprehension,
asking heavens to bring me whole,
though a big boy already,
back to her warm lap.
She was there when a mightier competitor
took me away from her, My Wife,
looking at us with love,
asking heavens to keep us safe and
guard and guide us.
She was there when offspring came,
loved by her tenaciously,
a wombly love, seeing how
she’s perpetuated to eternity.
Now, when chair and table lack her
presence on days of celebration,
when toasts are raised to my B Day, I
wish I could raise another toast to her,
my B Day’s artisan.
Dan Barkye’s most recent poem to appear here was taste me (May 2011).