Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Henry's birthday

For Henry

Oh, Henry!

If I am watching people passing

and you are swimming

and just beside me

that man reads a

book of conifers

for no good reason

and you left but lately

I can see you

glitter in the water

swimming for your birthday

sparkling for your decade

in a pool in

Santa Monica

one palm soft zephyr


Happy birthday, Henry.

Yesterday, August 3, I not only failed to print a poem here, I also forgot to acknowledge Henry's birthday, so I am interrupting the bird cycle to wish Henry, my youngest grandson, a happy birthday again! Not a decade here, but Sweet Sixteen! Happy, happy, Henry.

This is the poem that I wrote in 2004 for my youngest grandson Henry's 10th birthday, the last birthday, actually, that his grandfather, Julian - who was my husband, my lover, my partner, my Julian and, whom we all called Da in those days, because that's what Henry's cousin, Nicky, the oldest grandchild, came up with in his first year, and, once again, in those days, Nicky was the boss...Oh, I was saying that that was the last of Henry's birthdays that Da was alive for.

So, I'm interrupting the bird cycle to post a recycle! Hmmm. So be it. It makes me happy to think about these people, Henry and Nick, and their siblings Sam and Nora, whose lives have so unexpectedly, so fortuitously intertwined with, been part of, mine. I'm so happy that I got to be your grandmother, you guys, or, as three-year old Henry joyfully announced to a stranger one day when he was identifying me, "She's Mennie!, She's my STEP-grandmother!," that "step" clearly an honorific, a title of great esteem. One of my proudest moments.

Today was chemo day and I'm feeling it. Just Herceptin today, since we stopped the Xeloda, still I couldn't have done it without Lauren's kind and patient help. Tomorrow I call The Doctor and talk about what's next. Tonight I'm tired and scared, if I think about it, so I'm really grateful to have this blog and you guys to not think about it.

I hope you all have sweet sleep.


  1. I love hearing stories about the grandkids and Julian. I never get tired of it and this poem is so great. Happy Birthday Henry!

  2. Hello Melanie, This is my first visit to your blog, and I love remembering you and Julian and the stories I used to hear about those grandchildren now not even children any more. I am thinking of you and wishing you strength and peace and joy. Love, Alice