From Vol. 9: “birthday poem” by Patrick Kindig

Poetry: Patrick Kindig

birthday poem

today there are marigolds
blooming in the street
& i mean this literally.
there are marigolds rising
from the seam between
the curb & the pavement,
twelve of them, marigolds
appearing unexpectedly
where no marigolds should
be. today there are marigolds
blooming in the street & i
am a little bit older, a little
more likely to die
without warning. i am older
& more likely to die without
warning & there are marigolds
in the street, improbable
marigolds blooming today,
& i am looking at them
& thinking about anything
but death. today i am looking
at the marigolds blooming
in the street & i am thinking
about all the things that are alive
right now, that are in love
with life, about the rabbits
& the bees & the apple trees
being alive, about myself
& these miraculous fall
marigolds, these marigolds
blooming despite the street’s
cement, the air rehearsing
its winter chill. today
there are marigolds blooming
in the street & i want to tell them
about themselves, what
they mean for the world
today, to grab everyone who passes
by the shoulders & say look! look
at these marigolds! look at them
& where they are blooming today! i
want to grab them by the shoulders
& pull them to the street, to
the seam between the curb
& the pavement & say look! i know
you are busy walking somewhere
& closer to death! but look! look
at the marigolds! it is my birthday
& today there are marigolds
blooming, there are marigolds
blooming today in the street!

Patrick Kindig is currently a PhD candidate in Indiana University’s Department of English. He’s the author of the chapbook all the catholic gods (Seven Kitchens Press) and the micro-chapbook Dry Spell (Porkbelly Press).


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