Happy Birthday to Me

Today, I’m fifty-five years old, and I don’t know whether to celebrate, start planning my own funeral, or do both. Meanwhile, here’s a poem I wrote a while back about my birth. Of course I don’t remember any of this. I’m just going by bits and pieces my parents told me over the years. You can click this link to hear me read it.




One in the morning, June 1961,

Mother admitted to New York Hospital,

Dad fell asleep on the waiting room couch,

woke in the early morning light,

stumbled to the cafeteria for breakfast,

returned to find Mother still in labor,

read a newspaper, consumed a pack of cigarettes,

went home for lunch and a shower,

came back to discover I still hadn’t arrived,

read The New Yorker with another pack of smokes,

got a hamburger and beer for supper,

late that evening, received good news,

was allowed to see us,

Mother barely conscious, me at her breast.

Why was Dad so calm, so collected?


Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems



4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me

    • Thanks, Andy, when I shared this poem with one of my critique groups, the last line about Dad being so calm wasn’t included. Someone said it might be hard to believe Dad was so calm after I was born. That was why I inserted that line at the end. I’m wondering now if I should get rid of it, but what would I put in its place?

  1. Hi, Abbie–Around fourteen years ago, when my sister was turning 55, I remembered that one’s 55th birthday was referred to as “double nickels.” So, onto her birthday card, I taped two nickels.

    Best wishes to you as you celebrate your “Double-nickels” birthday!

    Enjoy your special day–Alice

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