This year there will be no birthday party.
Too risky, I called it off.
Hard to keep guests six feet apart in a townhouse that’s only 18 feet wide.
Do the math.
No hugs and kisses,
No singing songs around the table
Or blowing out candles on a cake.
Last year I celebrated my birthday in a villa by a pool with my boyfriend and my family,
Seventeen of us roaming the hills of Florence
Living the dolce vita.
Next year who knows?
Will the borders reopen? Will there be a vaccine?
Will I see my daughter who lives in Australia?
Will I kiss my boyfriend’s face again?
Thinking about the past makes me sad.
Dreaming about the future makes me sadder.
Yet looking out the back window at my neighbor’s flower box
Where suddenly three sunflowers have sprung to life on a third-story ledge
In a rotting flower box tangled up in electrical wire,
Their perky faces turned up toward the sun,
That is my celebration of life.
July 9, 2020