I had a strange dream, it hit me hard.
by Inna Kibitskaya
Perhaps, it was a premonition….
An answer, I never searched for,
A prayer, I never prayed.
I dreamt of my birthday…
I went to bed the night before… laid out my birthday dress..
Tomorrow will be my day, I know.
I'll wake up to a perfect arrangement of calla lilies..
Like all the years before…
A flower of which perfection and beauty are defined by mere simplicity,
Perhaps, that's why I've always loved it..
Not everything had to be so complicating.
I knew I'd wake up to a strong aroma of black coffee, and hazelnut creamer.
A smiling face.. Moms tender kiss, and a whispered happy birthday.
I closed my eyes, and mentally went over my birthday list.
A strand of pearls… a telescope.. A pair of yellow gold hoops,
A few new books, A new bottle of Coco Mademoiselle, new gown… for who knows what,
I just happen to collect them… a few gift cards from my favorite stores…
I never finished reciting that list, sleep took over.
I opened my eyes at nearly noon.
There were no lilies, not even close.
There was no fragrance of coffee, not a hint of hazelnut.
No smiling faces, not a kiss, not a single wish.
A sadness dawned upon me. Have they forgotten?
All of them? I'm sure they couldn't…
It's my birthday.
I got out of bed, and on a stand I found…
All neatly sealed, addressed to me.
I smiled, I knew they wouldn't.
I opened one, and was slightly shocked..
I didn't understand..
It was from my sister… a list I found..
Of everything she's ever dreamed and wanted.
From lenses, to laces, to rocks.
I put it down, I grabbed the next one..
Another list… of what this one wanted..
I went through them all..
I couldn't comprehend.
'It's my freaken birthday! ' I wanted to shout..
But it wouldn't matter, they wouldn't hear…
They all left to my birthday party.
All waiting for me to arrive, all waiting for their lists to be granted.
Tears filled my eyes…
I couldn't understand,
I didn't mind really.. I loved them all,
I'd grant them all their gifts..
But people never played like this.
This wasn't right… that's not what birthdays were about.
I wasn't mad… not really.. Not at all..
It was a strange feeling, a hurt I cant explain.
A sadness… a deep kind of inner pain.
I awoke then.. A residue of that strange feeling..
I glanced out the window… snow.
It's December it hit me.
My Lovers birthday.
I remember my Christmas list.. That I never yet finished…
I remembered my dream…
I felt a sad faint whisper … 'It's My birthday… '
Oh, Love… I'm so sorry….
It's my Lovers birthday December 25th…
'My Love', I said… 'but you have it all….I can't think of what to get you, nothing at all'
He smiled, weakly… He took my hand…. He asked me for a walk.
We walked the streets of Haiti.. I've never seen such pain.
'I'm hungry', my Lover told me…
The crumbs you take for granted are their unanswered prayers.
A loaf of bread, He said… bring Me for My birthday.
I felt a hint of pain.
He took me through the alleys of Bulgaria… through crowds of shivering abandoned children.
'I'm cold', my Lover whispered….
Every night you warmly fall asleep, or complain of the heat… I depend on cold granite, on stone, to keep me warm. To spare my life.
Too often, those nights you soundly sleep, a new statistic I become.
I want a coat for my birthday.
A warm pair of shoes.
We kept on walking… I felt my tears…
He walked me into a beautiful, large house…
Into a bedroom, she had it all it seemed..
But a blade in her hand she held… her death was so near…
'I'm lonely' He told me, 'I need a friend…'
'For my birthday… just call me ok? '
I couldn't take it.. How did I miss all this?
He took His hand, and wiped my tears…
And then He handed me His Christmas List.
I barely whispered Happy Birthday.