Three Days After Your Birthday

Bring me oranges

And garlands of course of

Flowers, something very red—hibiscus

Make rings of many colored petals around my eyes, one, two

Trumpets. Hire trumpets, flashing golden in the sun

And call my mom. Tell her now, tell

Her to come on horses, to come

See me now.

Mom! Look at me here, Mom, at five in the morning because this shining six-year-old, my daughter, can you believe it, she walks into our room in the dark (I’m married, mom, I have a mortgage) and she says I can’t sleep because when I close my eyes something scary is there and I say I’ll come with you so we go into her room (it’s a two story house, mom) and I lay down next to her in her little bed my head next to her head on her bright flowered pillowcase and I say do you want to tell me about it and she says NO real mean like that is obviously the wrong answer and I say I can hear that you are frustrated but I want to be spoken to respectfully. And then I say maybe I can tell you an imagination story and there she is surly and skeptical, defying me to even try to help but meanwhile she is holding onto my earlobe. So I say, once there was a young eagle. She hadn’t yet left the nest because her wings weren’t quite big enough. La la la, I keep talking soft in the dark until finally this eaglet is sitting by a pond and there’s a frog who wants to learn to sing. The planet turns, the sun rises, and there she is next to me, Mom, this kid who needed me in the night. She says, “Dada. You snore.”

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2 Responses to Three Days After Your Birthday

  1. Marina de McVittie says:


    Te mando colores, sí, naranja y amarillo y rosado –pero no el rosado de las revistas, sino el de las rosas viejas que todavía quieren guardar sus mantillas- y también el verde del trópico y de los mares que tú amas.

    Y no trompetas, sino el canto de las flautas de los Andes. Y cuando me llegue mi turno, le contaré el cuento a tu mamá… pero antes, le diré a India la suerte que tiene.

    Espero que estés bien o mejorando 🙂

    Un abrazo,


  2. Deborah Dewey says:

    Thomas, thank you for this…it brought tears…

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