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Happy Birthday

by Bet Yeldem

At the party, everyone was in love with you
You were the man of the hour
And after grilling in David’s backyard
Volleyball at the park down the street
And two more beer runs
We were all at Sarah’s for the traditional
Cake and ice cream
Most were gag
In nature and everyone was laughing
What seemed like
All the time
And we all thought you were beautiful
Because you were
In the middle of the gift giving frenzy
There was my box
Finally in your hands and I sank a little
Further into the couch
Crossing my fingers
Hiding them between my knees
And biting my lip
Trying to predict your reaction
You unwrapped it carefully
I watched your hands move like a lover’s
Over what you found
Just an ordinary shirt, nice, but not spectacular
You brought the box closer to your face
And I’m sure they all thought
You were inspecting it
Because they made faces and continued
With good hearted laughter
But I knew better
From the twitch of your eye and the hint
Of a sly smile
You traded your well worn shirt
For the shiny new one and asked where
I had gotten it from
I rattled off the name of some department store
Which was true enough
But every time I spoke for the rest of the night
You had this Skinner-like behaviorist reaction
Of bringing up the neck of the shirt
Over your mouth and nose
For a few seconds at a time
Then cocking your head slightly to the left
While your eyes fell on me like feathers
Somewhere between the store and your back
The shirt made its way into my bed
I’m sure there were evidences
My hair and my scent
But I never told you that I slept in it for a week
Just to be close to you
In that moment
Across a crowded room full of laughter
We were alone, still and quiet
Beyond our own walls
And you were wrapped up in me


Posted on 06/26/2006
Copyright © 2024 Bet Yeldem

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Deborah S Regan on 06/26/06 at 07:50 PM

very sweet and romantic

Posted by Meghan Helmich on 09/05/08 at 06:36 PM

this is fantastic!! it rocked me. i wish i could add it to my favorites, but i don't see the option...

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