I ignore it.
I symbolically changed the date.
But the real one, the real birthday, had:
Eighteen and thirty six dollar checks from the now-dead father.
Blue and black letters and cards, handwritten from the now-dead mother.
Cards and shirts and cookies from the now-disengaged daughters –
Driven off they were by my petulance.
Cards and letters from now-dead aunts.
Once a heavy coat from the now-dead parents.
I miss the birthday connections,
Excused and dismissed by my self-importance ….
Eugene “Gene” Novogrodsky, early February 2015