Ambivalence

Birth Day. What joy we muster
As if by decree. But must we
Eat cake? inflate balloons?
Blow candles out in
One long breath?
(A snuffed out kind of death)
Give tokens for the gift of life
And still our babies gasp
Their first on air and howl
And ever after weep

Somewhat existentially rueful on my birthday with this evocative photo from Shay to prompt our Sunday Muse

34 Comments on “Ambivalence

  1. That’s one rather eerie photo I have to say. Hope you had a lovely birthday – I do like the words
    “Blow candles out in
    One long breath?”

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    • Many thanks Jude – threw this one together at the end of what was a Happy Birthday so modified it a bit this morning though the tone does not change

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  2. “And still our babies gasp / On air and howl” I really like the parallelism between our first breath as a newborn, and our breath to blow out the candles (as we age…) Happy Birthday in any case!

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  3. Despite your ambivalence I hope it was a happy one. I wonder what life would be like if we never knew anyone’s age in years? (K)

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  4. It’s amazing how our emotions regarding birthdays can change over time. I used to love my birthday, but these days, it’s huh, so what. I a however, grateful to see another one. Happy Birthday Laura!

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  5. You’re not the only one that feels no need to celebrate. Oh the impact of that final bit! Hope your day was just the way you wanted it to be, Laura.

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  6. Yes, those last lines pack a punch. I take it you are at an age when the birthday thrill is long past. I barely acknowledge mine now.

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  7. This is a dark involving contemplative poem, but honest and well written Laura — and Happy Birthday! 🙂

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  8. Wishing you a good birthday, celebrated as you like it. And today I might be thinking about habits and what they serve.

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  9. ““And still our babies gasp / On air and howl”

    The first breath a baby takes, and the candles blown out. This is wonderful, Laura!

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