Treasure Island

Sandra Brennan

(08/07/65 / Omaha Nebraska)

On my 40th Birthday


On my 40th birthday,
I went to a book store,
Pulled a book off the shelf
Turned to page eight, and saw my name
In boldface type, over my own words.
I was happy to fork over the 11.95+tax
To buy a book with my own poems in it,
Even knowing my free copy was in the mail.
I just wanted to hold the book in my hands,
Wanted to see my own validation in print.
On my 40th birthday
I got up in front of the biggest crowd
I'd ever performed in front of,
And unloaded my soul for twenty minutes straight,
For once, so comfortable in the spotlight
The words just flowed out without struggle.
I felt the waves of love and understanding
From the audience, for once, so receptive.
The standing ovation at the end made me cry.
On my 40th birthday
One of my favorite teachers from high school
Told me he was very proud of me,
Proud of the person I'd become,
Said he always knew I'd be somebody, someday.
He bought one of my chapbooks and asked me
For my autograph, and told me to keep in touch.
On my 40th birthday,
Eight people told me they loved me
Two dozen people hugged me
Fifty people sang me Happy Birthday
One person bought me flowers
And one person let me cry on his shoulder
When I was overwhelmed by it all.

Submitted: Saturday, September 02, 2006
Edited: Friday, February 17, 2012

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