Poetry: Birthday


Birthday candles being lit

We honored the day with bottles of wine,

Gifts, and never enough conversation.

It was his twenty-seventh, maybe her

Forty-fifth, or perhaps it was someone’s

Sixty-second. That would be the hardest,

Reminding us that life is too often

Measured in sixty-second increments.

I wonder why we measure it at all:

What does it matter what year it occurred

Or which day of the week the thing happened

Or how many minutes slipped our fingers?

Time is relentless only when you slip

Out of the moment and into your fear,

Only when you make life a statistic.