Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The annual lie

For a long time
I have wanted to dispense with my birthday.
It is a lie.
The colour of my hair is a lie too.
And the wrinkling of my skin.

I am the victim of a merciless conspiracy
between the inadequacies of cell replacement
and the cold counting mechanisms of solar system orbits.

I am still young.
I play, I wonder, I believe.
Innocence is still hopeful, still ashamed of wrong.
Cynicism is still largely locked away in the brown
bottle with a child proof lid and "Poison" on the label.

But life flows like a river in flood.
The earth spins relentlessly,
Night and day flash by and, swept before them,
Seasons brush the months away.

I plan to learn new things.
I plan to invest in friendships
but time sidesteps the good intentions
and work, the parasite of time,
steals the rest away.

So here I am,
wondering how to respond when people ask
"What do you want for your birthday?" and
" It's a big one this year, isn't it?"

It's hard to say what I really want.
A truce with life,
or at least a truce with myself,
might be nice.

And it's hard to say "Could you buy me
One of those sprays that removes insecurity and defensiveness?
Or a mirror with the reflection that doesn't always expect me
To make the first move?"

I would like to rejoice in my achievements without fear of pride
and enjoy my life without fear of failure.
I would like to care more for other people
and care less about what they think of me.
I would like my love to be founded more on the basis of overflow
and less on calculation.

I fear I am merely a year older.
But if you could buy me any of those for my birthday
I would be a year wiser too.

(c) A McN

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