other kids crowd gifts and thrust
in hands to help, birthday girl stunned
and motionless in the eye of this storm,
a smear of blue icing on her cheek.
She looks out placid. My sister
explains that she doesn’t really care
about presents. Perhaps it’s because
she’s never opened one, but then
I have never cared for gifts either.
People always swore it was the thought
that counts and I wasn’t a fool and I
could see what relatives thought of me.
My niece finally left what had become
a pile of stuff to swing outside, higher.