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Summer Leaves and My Birthday’s Here
(Title is a quote from Paul Simon's "Old," featured on his CD "You're the One.")
by Mimi Moriarty

May gets trampled by eager hikers
who have waited for the hills to dry.

June, all strawberries and oral exams,
loses a day, like a nap.

July spreads out on a lazy beach
roped off for nude bathers.

August swelters, radios blare
back-to-school sales, square deals.

Then summer leaves and my birthday’s here,
early September, the deliberate month.

Teachers return to their higher purpose,
stockinged and trousered

boys stumble in, their jeans
still creased from the shelf

unruffled girls in white ankle socks
gossip around lockers

and my parents forget my birthday
with all the hullabaloo and machinations

  the pencil-sharpening
  the skirt-hemming
  the book-covering.

Is this true or untrue?
Hard to imagine a parent
forgetting a child’s birthday.

Remember --

Virgos, self-centered
and predisposed to drama,
tend to exaggerate.

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