Birthday Song (a late posting)
We went to a gig on your birthday’s eve,
You and I, just another dad and daughter,
And you with a shirt in your jacket pocket
To give to your favourite singer,
A blonde androgynous boy you’ve met twice,
With the voice of an angel,
Walking into crowds like onto water.
Me upstairs, because we booked the tickets too late,
And you down there in the mosh pit,
Touching his hand, pulling his tie,
He suddenly famous,
You still in the crowd,
And his hug a memory that makes you feel old.
We have to leave early
Because the private trains have stopped
Delivering public benefit, and have to sprint
To catch that last train to the sticks
We foolishly live in.
So now it’s almost midnight,
And your mouth is full of water,
And your pocket still full of shirt,
And your heart full of that joy
We grab from our idols,
And your head full of music
And words you want to shout out loud.
So you chose to sit near some men you didn’t know,
Strangers full of drink and song,
And they start to sing and no-one sings with them
On the full train, and you start that banter
That comes to you more easily than you admit,
And you tell them it’s your birthday in fifteen minutes,
And their leader walks the carriage to tell them to sing
You’re not afraid any more, girl,
Not of others,
Just still of yourself.
And on the stroke of midnight,
Rolling into Chelmsford, he stands up
And conducts a choir of strangers
A band of kind drunkards, for once,
And your best birthday present is made.
I wish you gentle men like those who sang,
I wish you gentle people like those who wished you well,
I wish you many happy memories like the one you made then.
I wish you glory that’s not reflected
Unless it’s yours in other people’s eyes.
I wish you everything this memory is, forever.
R, 25/02/2017, 02:24