Birthday Blues

Graphic of the poem on an old parchment background and a faded illustration of a birthday cake.

I turned 25 the other day, so I wanted to try and write a poem consisting of 25 lines that summarised how I feel about turning a quarter-of-a-century. This is what I wrote.

Another year passes and my first thought is:
what tales will I now never get to tell?
The kind we share over campfires, truths told
in drinking games, drunken confessions shared
under starlit skies that sober us by morning.
Memories of young love, underaged boozing,
enduring feuds, near misses with Death’s scythe—
things I have never known. I fear that I have
collected more silences than stories. I look to the
seeds I planted a year ago and I do not see a
garden that blossoms. But it is not as barren
as my heart would will my eyes to see. So many
joys and journeys of early youth are now
forever lost to me. But I take pride in the wars I
won within my own four walls, surviving
battles only I could ever have fought. I hung up the
noose necktie and decided hurting myself was not
a circus act any longer. I am no longer in a rush to
greet the reaper by the hand. On my birthday, I
danced freely, laughed my throat raw, and was
met with many smiles, both familiar and new.
If I could cling to hope in hopeless times, then the
garden can still bloom. Now I live knowing life will
taste all the sweeter, having hungered for it for so long.
For life must be far from over if it has barely begun.