Martina Reisz Newberry: “74th BIRTHDAY”




This was the birthday I began to clean out, examine, scan,
re-read. Each place I looked were those “what if” items:
What if the boys were to come for a visit? What if
daughter and hus- band should want to stop in? What if
in-laws or old friends or new friends should come to call?
These red dessert plates might come in handy then. This
marked- up book of recipes might be something my
daughter might treasure (though she’s not asked for it).
This wooden tray can hold 5 tall glasses of iced tea or
soda even if it is a bit scraped up. This old drawing by my
college roommatea drawing 56 years oldand the frame
still is good, still sturdy, though the drawing looks nothing
like me anymore. I thought I’d thrown out the meat patty
maker when we stopped eating meat, but here it is, faded
plastic taking up space and maybe the neighbor (who only
eats fast food) would like it. Birthday done. The box I
brought up from the basement is so full I can barely lift it.
I put the lid on and, through small holes and dings, the
foxfire, the glint, the flare of wealth that never was shows


About the Author: Martina Reisz Newberry’s newest collection, Blues for French Roast with Chicory is due for publication from Deerbrook Editions in late fall, 2019. Her latest book is: Never Completely Awake (Available from Deerbrook Editions). Her work has been widely published in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian Newberry, a Media Creative.


More By Martina Reisz Newberry:

Venerating the Transitory

Dietmar and I Talk of Angels


Image Credit: Harry Whittier Frees “The birthday cake” (1914) The Library of Congress

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