birthday

i missed your birthday four days ago
even though I’d made a mental note the day before
to remember it and say a prayer for you
but that day came and went, just like the year before

I still have the travel clock you brought home one day
it still ticks and tocks all through the night
i used to know what time it was wherever you were
until the day you died, alone and contrite

that clock is all i have of you now
it’s the only thing  you left behind
along with the secret life you lived the entire time
the truth your children deserved, denied

so i’ll let your birthday come and go
maybe i’ll light a candle if i remember
i still think of you with every tick tock of that clock
did you ever think of us or were we simply a bother?

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