Max Reif

Rookie - 18 Points (1948 / OVER 400 POEMS SERVED! !)

Happy Birthday, Nikki - Poem by Max Reif

I liked the patches
on the back of your jeans,
and almost before I knew it,
we were together.

That was 1971.
November 10 still never passes
without my remembering it's your birthday

even though at the time
I thought I might be just in it for the lust
that was driving me crazy;
even though I was on anti-depressants;
even though walking to the bank
in South Bend in the winter sun
the morning after our first night,
I realized I had no idea how to live.

I have the picture of you
and your 2 year-old cherub,
lovely madonna and child,
he's almost middle-aged now.

Gifts you gave me still endure,
even material ones,
the Judy Collins Songbook
and the antique candle-holder Mom has.

Saw you in the early '90s
driving through there,
we met for breakfast,
you looked great.

I wrote you afterward,
you never replied,
but at least you knew how I felt.

That night in San Mateo
when I made you get out
to catch your plane,
of course I didn't want to do it.
Took me a year and a half
to come out of the depression
after stopping the pills
because on them I felt
I couldn't really be there for you.

If I'd been a lot more myself,
who knows? But every year
like clockwork, November 10,
I remember.


Comments about Happy Birthday, Nikki by Max Reif

  • (11/16/2005 12:19:00 PM)


    very honest and real. The best kind! (Report) Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (11/14/2005 11:29:00 AM)


    It's not regret and it's not sadness but I remember Pat Conroy writing'... if a man could be afforded two lives...' I think it sums that up well. (Report) Reply

  • (11/14/2005 2:45:00 AM)


    very poignant Max. I'm sure she'd appreciate this.

    I see that Rhemasonador did a rendition of one of your poems. Congrats!
    (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?



Poem Submitted: Friday, November 11, 2005

Poem Edited: Friday, November 11, 2005


Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]