Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you
who I will not see today,
or tomorrow. Happy Birthday
to those whose birthdays will come
tomorrow, or the day after, 
who I will not see on those days.
Happy Birthday to all whose birthdays
came and went and I did not
see, have not seen since, will not see
again soon. Happy Birthday is how
I say to you that I am sorry and yet
I still feel joy in knowing that you
made your circuit and are here still.

Happy Birthday to those
I should have known but did not,
whose birthdays passed unnoticed
by me as there was no tie between us
except for the Unknown that ties us all,
that we are born and pass
and never touch one another, or 
may have touched without knowing
and it is much the same as if we lived
in different eras, on different lands.
Happy Birthday is how I say to you
that there is something in the world —
a pulse, a beat humming under all
that contains you, that I feel, that is
joy I am not familiar with but love anyway.

Happy Birthday to those
whose birthdays I will miss because
I will not be here to see them. Happy Birthday 
to those unborn, waiting in the wings for me
to pass, or to come into a better world
than this one I am part of. Happy Birthday
to those of you I will not see again 
due to the vagaries of life and distance
and death. Happy Birthday to those
I will fail with bitterness and anger,
who will slip from or flee me, who will be
set aside or dismissed.  Happy Birthday
is how I say to them that I know
I failed you. You did not fail me.
Happy Birthday 
is how I say
that I hope you are well

and that the world keeps you, holds you
as it spins. How I say that you are missed
and that wherever I end, it will be incomplete
and emptier for not having seen you.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

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