Happy Birthday

Eighteen candles on a cake
Turning westward from the sun
With their flame flickering, spitting…dying
With the noted absence of one.

The one to grow on they say
To adulthood…but here I am,
Barely a day in and already missing
The child buried in the icing cake.

What is there to celebrate? This coming of age?
For it seems right now naught
But to remember the days behind and ahead
As another year of our life ends.

To think of the freedom never to return
And the responsibilities that lie ahead
And death at the end of a concrete road…
It's a night to lament, not celebrate this age.