About me and this blog

I was born on a native reserve in Ontario, grew up on the west coast of Vancouver Island (as far west as you can go without running out of Canada), came of age in Mexico City. Between times, I lived in the Fraser Valley, Texas, Seattle, Oklahoma, Bella Coola, on the BC north coast, and the Fraser River Delta, just south of Vancouver. For now, I'm "settled" in Campbell River, on Vancouver Island.

I have a boatload of stories to tell. These are some of them.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Birthday Girl

Today is Mother's Day, in Mexico. My mother's no longer with us, but I wrote this for her on her birthday, too many years ago. She was in the middle stages of Alzheimer's, and she read this and said, "That's just how it is."

It was the last time I ever saw her read.

It's my birthday today
They say.
I'm eighty-three today
They say.
I don't remember

This is my favorite restaurant
They say.
All my friends have come
They say.
I don't know their names

This gift is just what I wanted
They say.
The cake has pink icing.

I remember turning seven at sea.
We had four o'clock tea under the awning
on the starboard deck. The ocean slept silvery grey,
the seagulls wheeling and pleading like naughty puppies.

All my friends were there: Jennifer and Meg,
Lucie showing off her new white shoes,
Rosalyn, Patricia and Marie.
Baby Timmy awake and shouting in the sunshine,
with Miss Alice to keep him from going through the rails.

I was wearing my flowery pinafore,
crackly with starch and smocking, ivory-buttoned
over my Sunday cotton. Silky ribbons
-Mamma did my pigtails- shimmery pink
to match the icing on the chocolate cupcakes.
I remember nibbling -like a lady-
cucumber sandwiches cut in tiny wedges,
salmon pinwheels, scones with peach preserves.
I poured the tea; I was the hostess, gracious
queen of Mamma's lily-of-the-valley china.

My birthday cupcake wore a candied violet
t'were a pity to eat. It graced my ship trunk
until Miss Alice, unpacking, threw it away
because she said
it smelled of mothballs.

It's my birthday today.
I'm eighty-three.

They say.

©Susannah Anderson 1998

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