Birthday Poems

For Olivia, On Your 18th Birthday

Hey, you with the cat tattoo! It’s 18 years 
Since we first met, and a thousand miles due south. 
The room was more hotel than hospital,
With lights and monitors stuck snug behind 
Nice hidden panels, and a passing nurse 
Who told us twice Madonna had given birth
Here once upon a time just down the hall. 
Another nurse had told us meekly all
Was wrong in how she had been measuring
Dilation, which I will admit, made for 
A less amusing tale, but so it goes;
Eventually you graced us with your grand 
Arrival, and I held you softly, wrapped
Up in a blanket, tiny hat atop
Your head, the moment I consider best
Among the many great ones in my life;
Your tiny face there staring up at me,
Your eyes were studying me as I too
Was studying you; it seemed quite clear
Your mind was fiercely sharp, and you and I
Were going to have some great adventures soon.

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