Poem for a Lost Birthday

Poem for a Lost Birthday


Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life. – Jane Hirschfield


Today you are — years old.

 A dream:

I followed a man

for whom I carried compliments

and a stack of graded papers

marked with “A’s.” In his house


two children sat in a tidy kitchen.

A woman with straight dark hair

moved down the hallway. I left

a handprint on the bare wall.


This man led me to a room.

He had washed my silk underwear, my

bra, a shapeless sweater that sunk

the drying rack.


“How are your silks?” he asked.

I collected my garments and became undone.

My hair grew long and changed color. The heels

of my white shoes sunk into the grass as I ran.


You can only miss what you continue to love.

10 responses to “Poem for a Lost Birthday

  1. YO AMO ESTA POEMA DE DUENDE…That last line, verdad, every stanza leading to it…xoxo

  2. Powerful and tender. XOXO

  3. You tell me why I am not a Buddhist: attachment.

  4. Hannah Levbarg

    I have a great deal of trouble articulating any comment for your poems, other than wanting to thank you for them. Very little that I think of saying seems, in the end, appropriate or good enough or right, so, thank you.

  5. Stephanie Quinn Westphal

    Beautiful, tender, haunting. “The handprint on the wall” and “I collected my undergarments and became undone” are seared into me. Ditto to what Alma and Hannah said.

  6. enigmatic and taunting

  7. Thank you for the poems, Em.

    It’s blowing me away that you are quoting from Jane Hirschfield’s “It Was Like This: You Were Happy” – the clipping of which I have literally been carrying around with me for years. At some point must share with you other poem that I’ve also been carrying around for forever – “Destinations” by Dorothea Tanning.

  8. Linda G. White

    Beautiful, and Haunting

  9. This is incredible

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s