The Birthday


The Birthday, by Marc Chagall

On your birthday
I would bring you flowers,
Bright and fragrant,
You would put them in a vase.
On your birthday,
You would smell the flowers,
Smile and thank me,
We would go our separate ways.
But on your birthday,
Something happened,
Between the flowers and goodbye,
You turned around and
Something funny happened,
I could fly.
The lemon cake that you’ve just made,
The melon you are cutting,
The bustle just outside the shade,
The door I was just shutting,
The flowers in their paper wrap,
The ones that I have brought you,
The step you were about to take,
Just before I caught you,
The cloths upon the wall, the bed,
Your mother, who’ll be calling,
The scarf you’ll wrap around your neck,
The snow that’s started falling,
The tea, the bus, the washing up,
The moon, the stars, who miss you,
They can wait a minute,
They can all wait a minute,
They will have to wait a minute,
While I kiss you,
On your birthday.

©2012 Ajemian & Newcomb


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