Monday, May 31, 2010

In one more minute, it will be your birthday

And so the story goes:
“I’m pregnant,” she says flatly.
“Kill it, ” her mother urges.
“I won’t,” she speaks most defiantly.
“Your life’s over,” her mother declares.
“It’s just begun,” she insists.
And here I am.
May 30. It’s almost midnight.
Long nights with the husband.
“In one more minute, it will be your birthday,”
he reminds me.
He’s smiling, holding my hands.
No, it’s not a narcissistic practice
where we stay up late, the eve of my birthday
watching the clock
searching for a way to slow down the time
as both hands rendezvous at the 12 slot
not thinking about where I’ve been
and where I’m going
but suppressing the I-should-leave-my-mark feeling
realizing that each year passes
more quickly than the last
thanking my mother
she didn’t abort
holding no grudges against my grandmother
for suggesting it
secretly loving the fuss that’s made over me.