Daleen Enslinstrydom (25-02-1967 / Springs, South Africa)
A lonely birthday
It’s never good to be alone
and there is too much time to think.
Nobody should be alone,
especially not a child on a birthday.
These times are supposed to be special
but for too many times she has been overlooked
on these occasions and had been let down,
more than she can remember.
With these thoughts still in her mind
and tears streaming down her face
she turns to the window
and there will be no birthday cake, she realizes.
It’s raining outside
and she presses her face against the window
and in the vapour she writes her name
as an acknowledgement to herself
that she does still exist.
She presses her nose against the cold window surface
and she looks at the streetlights
that sparkles through her tears and the rain
like small diamonds
and she becomes even sadder.
She longs for crépes
sprinkled with cinnamon and fine sugar
and a warm hug
smelling of roses and spring
but on this day none of such things will be hers
and there is no gift
and her father is at work.
The house is empty,
as if emptiness is living along with her
and it is quite chilly
like a coal-stove without any thing to burn
and the voiceless night is her companion
while the only thing that she can hear
is the trickling raindrops
and the voices of the past
are all now silent
and she wishes that even the bad times
could have remained
and while the clock in the hallway
cuts through the silence of the night
it beats out her heartbeat like a drum,
while the rain keeps falling
like tears of loneliness
and today she is a discarded child,
a lonesome soul
and in life there is no bigger punishment
as everybody deserves to be special,
even if it’s only for a day.
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