someone took a picture just before
you blew out the candles and it will stay
that way, your gentle smile suspended
in time and your eyes closed as you make
your wish. i am sorry i missed your birthday.
i have never been good at these things, but
i know you will not hold it against me.
there are always things to say and you are
not afraid to say them. there are always things
to forgive and you will never fail to forgive.
that is why, while listening to you, I am asking
you to forgive me for accusing you of naivety.
if i had been born innocent, maybe i would not
have become the cynic i am. but i still listen.