Birthdays by Ray Miller


One year the kids made a photo mosaic,
a diary from warmness to winter’s decaying:
the feeding of bottles and reading of stories,
my hair set in bobbles, the family guffawing;
teaching the beautiful game in the garden,
patiently building sandcastles and snowmen;
watching barbarians ruin my labours
as youngsters mutated to surly teenagers.
Now the dark locks are whitened and hidden;
a worshipping congregation has risen
as if all sins were forgot or forgiven
and I a declining church or religion,
desirous of presence and shows of devotion,
receiving lip-service and standard gift tokens.

Ray Miller is a Socialist, Aston Villa supporter, faithful husband and father of 8 children. Life’s been a disappointment. Uh ha!

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