Saturday, July 21, 2012

Happy Birthday, Tai!

Instead of researching a world event for my “today in history” post, I’d like to dedicate this one to my friend Tai. Today is her birthday (I won’t say which one, it’s rude to ask that of a lady), and I wrote a birthday poem a while back that I would like to share. (Just a quick note:  It has a very specific form, called sestina [with a slight variation at the end], so it’s a little odd; you may need to read it a few times before you can really appreciate it, and even then may think I’m nuts!)

Today Is Your Birthday
for Tai

Today is a celebration of time,
A collection of moments to reflect on the knowledge
That has rained over your life in love,
In loss, in goals attained, in unreachable plans
To alter your place in eternity,
A day that will leave you wanting to be

That long past girl you never knew you were,
Who could look at her life and fall in love
With the great expanse of unwritten dreams,
Who wasn’t afraid to step out on the sands of eternity,
To leave a legacy of life strung together by days,
Hours, minutes, moments. Today, the unknown

Calls to your sojourner’s heart, covering schedules
And options with a blackness as thick as forever
And as promising as that very first moment
When you learned to celebrate wisdom
As something more precious than wanting to be better,
And more fragile than first love.

Tomorrow brings with it the threat of never ending
And the possibility of never beginning, while today
Is filled with the luxury of being anything we want it to be.
A typical story of sacrifice and devotion,
An ironic tale of perpetual misunderstanding,
Or even a testament to Divine designs,

An intricate web entangling your love
Of childhood games and grown-up desires.
Tomorrow’s the day you will finally grasp
The mysteries of lost time
And the freedoms of changed plans -
But tomorrow is swallowed in always and never,

When everything you think you know
Becomes something that you wanted to do,
And the road to forever
Is blocked off by waiting and wishing
For change to bring you acceptance
And time to grant you one more day.

So forget tomorrow, and it’s longing to be
Your link to all things eternal;
Throw away your carefully laid plans,
Look to right now for love,
And you’ll finally come to understand
This great significance:  today is your birthday.

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