A few months ago when I was going over poetry with the teen writing club at the library, I wrote a poem about birthdays. Celebrations of any kind often leave me frustrated or disappointed. I grew up making Christmas and birthday lists for my parents and wouldn’t get most of what I asked for (and I wasn’t asking for anything ridiculous!) Over the years, I’ve learned that I love finding the perfect gift for someone, but I usually feel awkward or strange when the time comes to give it to them. Or they get something else that seems “better” than what I spent my time/effort/money on.
Basically, I have a love-hate relationship with birthdays. I know part of that is my own fault that I need to figure out how to deal with, but sometimes I feel like there’s too much pressure or not enough for birthdays or Christmas or other holidays. So while dabbling in poetry, I wrote this poem. I think it’s awfully hilarious even if it’s still messy, so I thought I’d share it since tomorrow is my birthday. 🙂
“Birthdays Are Dead”
I don’t know if you heard, I don’t know if it’s been said,
but I’m telling you, it’s true: birthdays are dead.
All the cake and the gifts and even ice cream
just make me want to scream and scream and scream.
Because what’s the point of gifts and even cake,
if there’s nothing you want and it’ll eventually all break?
Why celebrate the fact that you’re another year older,
if all you feel is only more colder?
Because birthdays are disappointments and a huge letdown
after surviving another year with less smile and more frown.
All birthdays do is force you to play
a comparison game that can’t outlive the day.
Did you get more presents than Sally or Sue?
Is anything you got something you would choose?
Or what if your birthday is forgotten?
Time eaten up by jobs, events, and brains made of cotton.
And don’t get me started on celebrating for others,
for friends and family and even your brothers.
Why try to find the best gift for them too
When someone else will get them something better, shinier, and new?
Then you feel rather lousy and cross and bitter,
so when you celebrate others, your thoughts start to simmer.
Then all the work and all the thought you made
is left at the bottom of the pile, forgotten and lame.
So stop buying presents and don’t eat any cake
or you’ll be left with the mindset to take, take, take, take.
Fine, don’t believe me, don’t listen to what I’ve said.
But I’m telling you the truth, birthdays are dead.