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 »

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Poem Submitted: Friday, November 11, 2005

Poem Edited: Friday, November 11, 2005

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