The Voice Issue 30: July/August 2017 - Page 34

34

Today is my birthday.

Finally 16 years old.

Finally allowed to drive.

Finally allowed to go out,

Alone

Or with friends.

I don't care which one.

Today is my birthday.

My mom gets my cake ready.

She even hangs flyers.

I watch her as she floats

Slowly from counter

To table

To fridge

To counter

To table.

Today is my birthday.

My father comes into the house.

I haven't seen him in a while.

He puts a picture of me down

Next to my cake.

I was seven in this picture.

Today is my birthday.

My mom and dad sit at the table.

Eating dinner.

Staring at my seat,

Then back at their plate.

The silence would have made me shiver

But now I shiver all the time,

So there's really no difference.

Today is My Birthday

Listen to this Song By Fiona Ella of Brattleboro, VT while you Read:

Today is my birthday.

They open my presents for me.

I already know what they are.

They rewrap them every year.

A doll that I used to love.

A necklace with my initials.

A book that I never finished drawing in.

Today is my birthday.

I smiled at one of the drawings.

A family portrait.

I was never good at drawing people.

Or houses.

Or dogs.

Or really anything.

I definitely can't do it now.

Today would have been my birthday.

I would have been able to drive,

To go out

To have fun

But for some reason I can't.

Today would have been my birthday.

I would be eating that cake.

Or helping my mother set up the room.

I would have helped cook dinner,

Or talk to my mother as she bustled around

Letting me taste the food.

But I can no longer taste anything.