A birthday was a dainty dream,
Kisses and sparkles of a day
Lost in the tides of time.
A birthday was a saturated fun
Of cooked food, aromatic spices
And the milk of a mother’s fondness.
A birthday was a chocolatey wait for school friends,
Orchestrated songs and claps, resounding among
A crowded classroom and a makeshift living room.
Every year, an announcement of age leaping
Body and soul of a girl growing, a young woman fumbling,
A grown-up woman, alone like a tunnel,
Wishes and cakes invading, eager and firm.
Each year going by like colored hues of a good-bye.
The numberless years, their memories,
The whiff of a tempest or two, beating above
The nameless silence of a new year
And its fertile, insolent promises.
A birthday is the dusky body of a day,
The mortal flame of a light as I lie
Between the goblets of my old days, in surrender.
My soul flees in between the twilight glory of birth,
The solitary bell of death. Love deepens, darkens
Among the murmur of waves that devours both,
And watches, echoes and voices, fled, migrated,
Like an old voyage.
The morning is full of summer love,
Sprinkled with wishes and songs.
Behind them, I hide like a spider,
Soundless, trembling, barefoot,
Leaning, picking up my distant, drowning days.
Copyright: Lopa Banerjee. August 11, 2014
Footnotes: Fragmented recollections of my birthday celebrations in my childhood, of my growing up years, and the years that followed to my womanhood. My first self-dedicated piece in the month of August, that ironically is both the month of my birth and that of my mother’s demise. This poem is slated for publication in the Spring 2015 issue of ’13th Floor Magazine’, published from The Writer’s Workshop, University of Nebraska at Omaha.