Dec 04

Her birthday

Today
Is my mother's birthday
She shouldn't have to buy herself a cheap, box-mix birthday cake
If I could plan it all
If the family were together enough to plan it all
I know exactly what I would do
First, wake her up with breakfast in bed
And roses, daisies, daffodills, lillies, zinnias, chrisanthimums, all the flowers for the fairy queen
Eggs, toast, bacon, butter
Bacon bacon bacon bacon
And she could eat all she wanted and feel pretty, inside and out
It's magic bacon
She wouldn't have to walk
My mother only floats on her birthday
Tumbled up by the wind like samarah seeds
No one would fight for a day
Just a day, it seems like so little to ask for
Apparently its's not
We would roll to school, and she would stay at home
Bang the gavel at work like she is so apt to do
Wrap every loose end up in a tidy bow
At 2, a deliveryman is at the door
Ushering inside a boquet of flowers from her boyfriend
At 3, the children are ferried home
She doesn't need to chauffer today
The grocieries would arrive at four
The chef at five
Mom and he would lounge in the living room, sipping rose and sharing secrets
I'd be working on some thoughtful gift while my sister read to the dog
The food would all be cooked perfectly
I would ensure it
Then, the cake
Just when she thought the day wouldn't, couldn't, shouldn't get any better, there's the cake
It's white, two layers, roses piped in pink buttercream frosting on top
It tastes like home, like late summer nights, like a piano teacher's water with lemon, like a perfect moment frozen in time, like fingers resting on piano keys, like a paddleboard in the middle of nowhere, bobbing gently in the waves
What's really going to happen is a little different
I'll try to get along with my sister
And she'll drive to the fabulous richmond market
Get her cabbages
And a cake, with her name hastily scribbled on the top
It's not the birthday she deserves
Even in the middle of a fight, I know that
And it's not the birthday she deserves because even when she does drive to the store
Pick up her own cake on her birthday
And when we eat it and it's slightly too sweet and a tad bit dry
She'll still hug all of us close, press our cheeks to her lips
Reassure us that this was the best birthday ever
It can go back to normal tomorrow, payback for the 364 days a year where we fight ferociously
But today if I could give her the birthday she deserves
I know exactly what I would do