It takes a long time to grow young.
I liked pink frosted roses, sugar sweet,
on my birthday cake—raspberry
filling between layers, and a frosting
deep enough to reach a knuckle.
I liked to drink a glass of milk
with my slice of cake, not skim or 2%,
milk, but milk with the cream on top.
Later on when I no longer had frosted
cakes and the milkman stopped delivering
glass bottles of milk, I graduated to ice cream
birthday cakes— layers of coffee
ice cream sandwiched between vanilla.
Cakes frozen so frigid that only a knife
heated under hot water could make the first cut.
Years went by and I made lopsided cakes,
cakes from boxes, my own frosting, frosting
from a can. I bought figurines and candles,
crepe paper streamers, birthday horns, trinkets.
I set up Pin the Tail on the donkey, musical chairs,
scavenger hunts, and backyard games.
Once I had a surprise birthday party. No one had
a camera, no digital prints to post on Facebook.
The menu—lopsided cupcakes with pink coconut
frosting, hats made out of construction paper,
a poster with a misspelled birthday greeting.
Today I'd have a video to document the party,
to attest to its reality.Poetic Asides prompt