The Birthday Present: A Poem

He was turning six;

A time of fun and the world is bright…

There are not yet any borders or thorns to pierce you,

And all is color, and flash, and magic.

He was turning six;

A time of conflict and hardness…

Between his mother and I,

Where borders were raised and thorns were embedded and bleeding,

And all was color, and flash and outrage.

He was turning six,

A time where a party was going to happen…

Where family had gathered to see a magic day,

And where I decided to make a few changes to the décor—

Nothing much; just a few more balloons and pictures of superheroes;

Nothing much at all…

He was turning six,

The time was close to start a celebration,

But borders had been broken by balloons and pictures of superheroes

Because they weren’t planned

So daddy earned some more thorns…

So he got his birthday present

When mommy hit daddy in front of him ..

Over and over again.

And all was color, and flash, and blood.

He was turning six.

And daddy told him “It’s Ok…it was my fault”

And went to fix his bleeding mouth

While mommy cut the cake and smiled….

“Happy Birthday Special Boy”…”It’ll be OK”

While the family looked on—singing a song in monotone;

And all was grey, and recoil, and silence.

10 thoughts on “The Birthday Present: A Poem

Add yours

      1. Clearing the pain from ourselves and our children is our purpose now, so it can never be repeated. Talking about it and bringing it out into the light really does help all of us. Thank you so much.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I reread your poem, The Longest Goodnight”. It is very hard to write about our own personal failures and to beat ourselves again for not being a better person, a better parent, and for falling short. Maybe hardest still to forgive ourselves. Sending you lots of love.

        Liked by 1 person

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