Tim Bovee


Birthday Flames


Quench the birthday flames with quavering regret
And bravely dodge the smiles of friends and kin
After eighty years of living on the target.

Recall your younger days as a foggy silhouette
Of golden hopes without and shadowed fears within.
Quench the birthday flames with quavering regret.

Smile in grateful thanks at each gaily hidden gift set
In your faintly trembling hands, spotted and thin
After eighty years of living on the target.

Watch your collagen dissolve and don't protest
Today's measured dose of nausea and phlegm.
Quench the birthday flames with quavering regret.

Nod calmly to your doc, "Will chemo let
Me stick around and dodge the pay of sin
After eighty years of living on the target?"

UV rays, gasoline fumes, viral poem and bacterial minuet,
Melanoma, myeloma---tubers and tumors will always win
So bravely quench the birthday flames with quavering regret
After eighty years of living on the target.

Submitted: Saturday, January 04, 2003

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