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My First Birthday

by Swapna Gopinath
(Mumbai, India)

Tomorrow is my birthday
My first birthday
Learning to live
Taking baby steps
While fear murmurs
Words of caution
Faltering steps, shaky words
Loneliness of being born
My mind befuddled
Reluctant, I crave
To go back in time
Tomorrow is my birthday
And I am learning slowly
To look … beyond my father’s grave
To live … without my father
And his wobbly walk
His whacky humor
And his gentle hugs
His words of trust
I am learning to live
To live… without my father…

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