A Birthday - Etornam Agbodo

He came to me.
This morning the 24th of May.
Beaming a smile with radiant eyes.
Expecting as is his right.

I opened the door to his authoritative knock.
"Good morning!" He exclaimed triumphant.
Through sleepy haze I glanced at him.
One eye almost closed.

"Dad, it’s my Birthday." He said.
The power of sleep lost hold instantly.
Yes, the 24th of May.
He was born the day afore nine years ago.
That his birthday was yesterday mattered not.
I was not there, had not wished him happy.
It is his birthday until proper ceremony is done.

I stood helpless, hiding tears behind mock frown.
I couldn’t make promises,
For I had no power to fulfill.

"We’ll see to that later."
The deep boom of my worthless voice answered.
Blatant lie.
We’d see to nothing.
There was naught I could do.

Shames this sphere heaps on me.
My lot may be.
Shy still to state.

Without means.
Not able to provide one morsel of my own.
Yet still I hope.
A birthday to you my son though I dare not say happy.
Perchance that day comes,
When I can truly wish your birthday happy indeed.
Till then, "Birthday" to you, son.

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