NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 8


Today’s prompt is Twenty Little Poetry Projects. By my count, I used seven.

Here comes another pothole.
by ARHuelsenbeck

Birthdays are the potholes of the calendar.

They didn’t start out that way. Your first few birthdays go by without you even noticing them. 
Then you start looking forward to them. But they seldom meet your expectations.
Some years your birthday is an outright disappointment, with people forgetting it or only going through the motions.
As the never-ending decades continue, you wish you didn’t even have to have a birthday.

My eightieth is coming up, and I’m not looking forward to it at all.
Ach du lieber! I can see it now.
The piano will play “Happy Birthday to You.”
The guy I met at the Senior Citizen’s Club will stand up and toast me:
“Andie is the most articulate person I know.
She has an extensive vocabulary that makes me look up words on my phone every time I talk to her.
And she can talk for hours, about anything and everything and nothing at all.
I’m so glad I met her. She makes my life more interesting.
And if I didn’t know her, I’d have nothing to talk about.
So let’s all drink to Andie. May she never stop talking.”
And I’ll say, “Thank you, I think.”
He’ll laugh and say, “See, I told you.”

And another thing about birthdays—people are always asking how old you are.
How do I know?
For the longest time, I said 29, because I just couldn’t remember. 
Who goes around thinking, how old am I now?
Age is just a number, and I was never any good at math.
But one year I worked it all out and realized it was actually the 29th anniversary of my 29th birthday. (I guess I can’t say 29 anymore.)

The older you get, the less sense you have. Literally. I can’t see without my glasses.
The doctor says I need hearing aids. My fingers are so numb I can’t feel what I’m holding.
My food is tasteless. And I smell bad.

When my father was older than I am now, he told me this story:
“I was just in the bathroom, and there was a man in there looking at me.
And I stared and him and wondered what he was doing there and why he looked so angry.
And do you know who he was? Me!”

Ha! He saw himself in the mirror and didn’t recognize himself!
But I get it. When I walk by the mirror I wonder who that old lady is. I can’t possibly look that old.

Maybe I’ll tell everyone I’m a hundred. I certainly look good for a hundred.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

13 responses »

  1. Loved every line of this poem Andrea. The humour and the math and then the compliment in the end –fabulous. Thank you for writing this. It’s made my day:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved the conversational feel of this poem, Andrea. I can relate, also. My step-daughter once told me that she can’t remember how old she is because it changes every year! Thanks for the smile you gave me this morning.

    Liked by 1 person

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