An Online Journal for Women by Women
birthday poems

Birthday Poems

Kitchen Dance

I’ve been waiting for the disaster:
14 weeks?
14 months?
14 years? Now that would be nice.

I read a poem about a man
who shared the kitchen 
with his wife as they prepared pretty meals each day.
Now she is gone.
His days are gray
as he fixes his food without her;
his summers slipped into winters.

And I thought about that loss for me.
I’d have the kitchen all to myself–
No weaving and bobbing
no stepping sideways
no fidgeting while I wait for you to finish getting your food
from the refrigerator. 
No tapping your hip so you would move away
from the cutlery drawer ’cause I need a fork.
One of us always waiting for the microwave;
“How many minutes ’til I can use it?” one of us asking the other.
No stirring your oatmeal for you when you’re distracted–
doing something else.
It’s funny the things we miss.

But today–the happy news: cancer contained.
We get to continue our kitchen dance!
That is your birthday gift.
Mine too.

(written for your 79th birthday)

To My Own Private Professor

80! A pretty big number:
an age that people don’t berate
but celebrate
congratulate.
Maybe even meditate
which could be all you do
this year of COVID-19
that we may have to weather
for three more months
or six
or nine
or more!
No movies, just TV
No restaurants, just take-out.
You get to choose: Chinese, Italian, Thai, Indian—
These are our choices now,
places not far from home.
We had been able to go to the park,
weather permitting.
But now the days are gray
not only because winter approaches,
but because your new hip issue
requires a cane to walk—not easy on uneven terrain.
But even now
with your debilitated self,
YOU transport me to a higher place:
a place of life
and peace
and comfort
and LOVE.
LOVE is also all I have for you.
This is my gift for your 80th birthday:
LOVE.

Read more by Linda Miller.

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