361/365: Tomorrow's Birthday

Tomorrow is another birthday
out in the cold dark, dinner and a movie.
I want to feel gratitude,
look back on my fortieth year
and remember the kindnesses,
the joys and successes and happy little extras
that I can hold up as small bits of meaning:
I am here, and I am grateful.
I am here, and I am wealthy.

I cannot, though,
I am ill-equipped.
December is cruel to me,
a discompassionate leech.
Even at nine,
I felt like a tired, old thing in December,
smiling for those who asked
and watching whatever meaning hovered at the edges
be whittled away with each sympathetic look.
December babies get sympathy,
even on the actual day,
even over the cake and the candles,
we can see the tilt of a well-meaning head.
This is a digression, though.
In truth, it is the month itself,
not the people within it,
that strains all the bulk out,
leaves me limp and weak,
dishwatery and wrung out,
but now I am only complaining,
and with each passing year
this only serves to make me less attractive
to well-wishers.

#365poems at Schmutzie.com