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Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1016695
by Rhyssa
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1871894
a place to rest my thoughts
#1016695 added September 3, 2021 at 3:35pm
Restrictions: None
a forgotten birthday
When my grandpa first was born he was so deathly ill--
so blue and wan from lack of breath they thought he'd die . . . until,
after working all the night and up until the dawn,
they'd warmed and nursed and strengthened him. The danger was all gone.

But when his birthday came next year, that day he'd nearly died,
his parents couldn't celebrate—in fact, they didn't try,
they ignored the day they thought their child would be dead,
and marked his birth the next day, when they knew he'd live instead.

Years came and went, and at eighteen he was called to war.
But when he did the paperwork to join the navy corps,
the day he marked as his birthday, the only day he knew,
was on the day that he had lived. It was official, too.

The government now thought that he was born on that bright day,
and so it followed through his life 'til he was old and gray,
at fifty-six, now married and with children of his own,
he found his birth certificate, which belied that truth he'd known.

In shock, my grandpa asked his father to unlock the mess,
and that is when he learned the story of his parent's stress.
At this point, though, his life was littered with that second date,
his marriage, driver's license, job, his taxes all would state

that he was born the day after his birthday really said,
to fix it would be painful. So, he let it stand, instead.
His birth was now forgotten, (well, officially at least)
but on his grave he marked the truth—so now that he's deceased

somehow that forgotten date would linger and confuse—
that's just the way he was, I guess, so easily amused.
And as he looks at his grandchildren from beyond our sight,
I think he laughs to see us wonder just which date is right.

line count: 28
Prompt: A FORGOTTEN BIRTHDAY

© Copyright 2021 Rhyssa (UN: sadilou at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
Rhyssa has granted Writing.Com, its affiliates and its syndicates non-exclusive rights to display this work.
Printed from https://shop.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/1016695