Birthday Poem

I never sent you print birthday wishes,
Preferred telephone calls or jotted notes,
But today marks eighteen years, my sister;

Eighteen unsent happys, full of frilled quotes
And cured cursive, unabashedly winked
Across a rainbowed river of milled hope

Meant for what’s living in us, that trite ink
Cartooning affection.  But we don’t send
Cards to the dead.  Your gifts are flowers, pink

And unsigned; begonias I plant, their stems
Tangled together, these blooms in part sun
All I can give you, this lemon-rose scent.

***At dVerse we are trying our terza rima.

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About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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62 Responses to Birthday Poem

  1. annotating60 says:

    Funny, we both used ‘trite’ in qa poem today.>KB

  2. jeglatter says:

    When flowers are all we have. Beautiful.
    -Jennifer

  3. Alice Keys says:

    This is lovely sad and moving. Beautiful, Susan.

  4. yeoldefoole says:

    “prefabricated sentimentality” I once heard a wise old man describe hallmark cards…

  5. Aw … brought tears to my eyes …

  6. Beautifully moving

  7. brian miller says:

    what an emotional turn in your verse…from birthdays to he being gone…and yet still to celebrate…leave her flowers…even a handwritten note…def moving….

  8. Tony Maude says:

    This started out beautifully; happy and joyous, which made the turn to loss and longing all the more powerful, Susan. And you are so right about the industrial rhymes of the card companies; they are mostly awful and some don’t even ascend to those dizzy heights.

  9. Susan, this is a great poem, you even included the famous volta, where you turn all arond by telling us your sister is dead.. Really really great poetry, and it hit me right in my gut. I have a lump in my throat as I write this.

  10. from your heart to mine – it’s 28 since my brother/best friend has gone – thank you

  11. claudia says:

    oh susan….big hugs your way…this must be so difficult for you and i really love how you capture the emotions…i hope they read poetry in heaven, you know…i’m sure she loves it

  12. Mary says:

    Oh, this is very sad, Susan. I wasn’t prepared for the ending….but then again one is not ever prepared for those we love to die!

  13. janehewey says:

    you last stanza is esp. poignant for me. (()) thank you for sharing.

  14. Miriam E. says:

    Susan, what a beautifully sad piece – had to swallow hard.
    wonderful work!

  15. nelle says:

    A card is a physical or cyber representation of sentiment, and I’m sure she knows yours knows no limit.

  16. Beautiful and heart rendering ~ I hope she is smiling when she reads this ~ Hugs to you dear ~

    Grace

  17. hypercryptical says:

    Beautiful words of love and loss – hugs on this sad day for you.

    Anna :o]

  18. Rowan Taw says:

    Beautiful use of the form, and so very moving.

  19. To wrap up all these in one – joy and sadness, presence and loss, remembrance and letting go – takes a fortitude borne out of years of sufferance.

  20. Tender and heart felt and your love reflected off the rainbow river.

  21. Very touching sonnet, leaving the lemon rose scent… really beautiful…just the sense of it lingering like her memory, so moving.

  22. Akila says:

    A poignant piece. Some vaccum remains always but its is best that way it remaisn alive in memories. Nice work on the form.

  23. kkkkaty1 says:

    A really beautiful sonnet for your sister, Susan. Love the ‘rainbow river of milled hope’. It’s been since 1975 since my sis passed.

  24. How you must love her! This is so touching!

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