On My Birthday

On My Birthday


we meet again each summer

always under the hottest sun


each reencounter brings reminders:

smells of chocolate frosting from a cake on a picnic table,

squishy balloons filled with water,

colored plates and napkins where bees hovered

playing in the center of the universe for a day

when the sun shone highest


and each thereafter incrementally less bright

though a little more centered


each celebration now flutters in a late afternoon breeze

a breeze that relieves me from a humid youth

under lengthening shadows

it resuscitates the flame of a lone candle

reflecting not the passing years

but the next one anew


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