April 4 : For Barbara

That was close!

Almost got another mark by my name in St. Peter’s book.

(Or has he delegated that task to a lesser saint?

Nah! Pete was a control freak.)

Will it really matter how many birthdays I forget?

Time marches on, and so many friends don’t want a salute.

The numbers stagger me, knock me into a lawn chair

set up at curbside where I sprawl, watching

the pageant of ourstory, checking my watch,

mentally interpolating the polite moment I can steal away home.

Surely this won’t stain my record?

Better to water the plants, dust the bookcase,

clean the mirror, and put out the dog

than obsess over belated birthdays.

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