Birthday

Happy birthday
Harry Potter
rather improbably
seeing as you
should have died
seven hundred times over
by now
and actually did die once
really
but got better

Enjoy your birthday
for you are living
on exceedingly borrowed time

Birthday Flu

Oh
hello
birthday flu
I remember the last time I had you
because it was last year
and quite possibly
every year before that too
I don’t know why
I am so often sick on my birthday
but I blame the albatross
stupid albatross
all feathery and gross
I should be doing actual work
but I have a headache and feel icky
so I shall stretch out this poem
in glorious procrastination
and have another chocolate cookie
even though
I’m not
really
hungry

On the Last Two Days of Being Forty

On the last two days of being forty
and thus only slightly past the point of no return
I shall eat chocolate cookies
as if that wasn’t really bad for me
and treat my muscles
like the muscles of a twenty year old

I shall write stories
and poetry
and probably something related to my paying job
and then almost touch my toes
because I can still do that

I shall not mention the kids these days
because I am one of the kids these days
yes I am
you can’t say I’m not
now watch me get off your lawn

I shall read hundreds of books
and save hundreds of whales
and commune with hundreds of dolphins
and then I shall stand in the rain
and feel profound things about the universe

Once I turn forty-one
I’ll probably be quite tired
and will spend the next year
watching Netflix or something

12 Lessons Learned During a Birthday Party for a Grown-Up Lady Who Has the Right Idea About Life

1) It is entirely possible
to play a life-sized version
of Hungry Hungry Hippos
with the aid
of wheelie carts
and laundry baskets
and hundreds of coloured plastic balls

2) pushing adults around
on wheelie carts
requires upper body strength

3) ball-pit balls
are affected by wind

4) always be the orange hippo
as the wind will blow the balls
into your corner

5) when you use laundry baskets
to simulate hippo mouths
be aware
that the one with the broken handle
is going to leave scars

6) there goes the wind again

7) crash helmets are essential
but even so
it is not okay to ram your hippo violently
headfirst
into a concrete wall

8) the fastest hippo gets all the balls
especially if it is the orange one

9) the extra balls that are actually water balloons
are going to get tangled up in your laundry basket
and cause half your ball-pit balls to escape
and promptly blow over towards
the orange hippo

10) eventually
you will get tired
and retire to play
a new version of Twister you have just invented
which is more fun than the original
and involves a lot of screaming

11) when you go to clean up
start with the orange hippo’s corner
since all the balls
will be over there

12) cake tastes better
when it is hippo-themed

Canada

O Canada
You sit atop the United States
Like a large floppy hat
a hat
made of moose and misconceptions
about eternal snow
and maple syrup
and universal travel by dog sled

Your birthday is
three days before the birthday
of the head on which you sit
and that head is very loud and boisterous
and does not even notice
the hat it is wearing

But that’s okay
because you have Nanaimo bars
and you put cheese curds and gravy
on your fries