|Ma. Possibly in Agra in the late 1960s.|
A birthday is a hollow sock
when the person’s gone,
stockings empty of the present,
no chats on the phone.
A birthday is flowers and vase,
and some photographs,
a looping back and touching base
and cupcakes on behalf.
A birthday is a cloudy mood
the weight of milestones,
a mixed up bit of pensive glad
and darker undertones.
Although the day's a mooring too -
pinning the year in place,
a chance to dial the chaos down,
to renew and retrace.
A thumbing of old albums and
a rough-edged thankfulness
that we had what we had when they
lived at the same address.