Celebration by Sally Evans

Your ninety-third, your ninety-fourth birthday —
we’re losing count. The big Double-0
isn’t far from sight, but you
don’t keep so many anniversaries.
Every month has its birth and death,
too much has happened in your life.
You now start remembering early
treasures, but not the dated kind.
The lie of the land where you grew,
the bustling excitement of cities,
when in youth you bought fashionable clothes,
when you went to parties
and stood in corners, learning
to lend your words to blank faces,
to dance, to be confident.
Nothing stands out as special now,
so many firsts and feats,
boat trips, train rides and arrivals,
friends, partners parted,
and so many relatives
you’ve lost count of great-grandchildren.
O to reach ninety-five years
and outlive the dates of things,
to wake up every morning on an anniversary,
on the promise of your memories
as you travel away from them.
Congratulations. Keep on surviving.
You are the oldest in our family
and I don’t want to take your place.

smaller sally

Sally Evans lives in Scotland and has Welsh connections. She has had several books of poems published including Poetic Adventures in Scotland (2014) and the Bees (2008).

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