Her birthday

Painting of a grand celebration (maybe a birthday!), Prescott Public Library, Prescott, Arizona


Her birthday,
crammed with memories,
one in particular:
rising at the meadowlark’s song
to walk across the dew-drenched grass,
her feet bare and cold and wet,
humming little nonsense tunes
to greet the light, bolder now
than when she’d left the house,
turning to see him at the window,
her ancient father;
how small he looks,
how like a cattail reed,
brown and brittle
at summer’s end—
and then he is falling,
clutching at his breast,
sailing off beyond the morning light,
the midday light, every light
there ever was or will be.
Pulling her phone from her skirt
pocket, she calls her friend:
“It’s over now. Come.
Come quickly.”


Poem and photo © 2017 by Magical Mystical Teacher
More Ruby Tuesday Too
More Sunday’s Whirligig #114
More Poetry Pantry #356 at Poets United


Posted on June 4, 2017, in Arizona, poetry, Poetry Pantry, Poets United, Prescott, Ruby Tuesday Too, Sunday's Whirligig and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. Beautiful but so sad as as her ancient father makes his last journey.

  2. How quickly time passes.. sad and yet it feels like a treasured memory

  3. oh dear…that can’t be a pleasant memory unless she was waiting for it to happen just to escape…

  4. poignant and so pointedly painful in the loss – wonderful way with words
    “how like a cattail reed,
    brown and brittle
    at summer’s end—”

  5. oh…this too was one of the birthday memories!…so poignant…

  6. Enjoyed this…the ending made me smile, really took me by surprise!

  7. Rosemary Nissen-Wade

    Vividly described, building up bit by bit to that climax. I too find ambiguity in the ending, and I like that touch of mystery.

  8. It speaks to me of the passing of a loved one, and need for support of friends, at any rate that’s what I’ve taken from your beautiful words. Perhaps we each draw our own thoughts.

  9. I loved the bare feet on the dewy grass, the looking back and the unexpected ending. Wonderful!

  10. I think this is a moment we might fear, but it can also come as a welcome in the end… the word ancient hint at that…

  11. An exceptional piece…

  12. This is so beautifully evocative.

  13. I like the way you have played with the use of light here, the different types of it, the fading of it and the symbolism that holds.

  14. This can be read in so many ways, as the various responses written here prove. I like the mystery at the end, that allows the reader to draw her/his own impressions. Thank you,


    • magicalmysticalteacher

      I was never very good at “beating people over the head” with “the correct meaning” of a poem! 🙂

      On Sun, Jun 4, 2017 at 6:20 PM, Magical Mystical Teacher wrote:


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