by Carol Hamilton
It is a few days yet,
and he still says he’s three.
But he holds himself taller,
and his blue eyes show
the serious importance
of being the center of attention
without crying. His older brother
is the unnoticed one this day.
Corbin shared his cake
with his great-uncle, 46 to his 4
but without that many candles.
Together they extinguished fire
and forgot to make wishes.
Corbin left here a more serious person.
He got to eat only the strawberries
off the cake, to drink Dr. Pepper
from a can, caffeine forgiven
for once. Each year I forgive
myself more and more,
and by now I am practically pure.
I pass the baton of guilt gladly,
celebrate by baking his cake.
Carol Hamilton has recent and upcoming publications in Paper Street Jourrnal, Cold Mountain Review, Common Ground, Gingerbread House, Main Street Rag. Sacred Cow. U.S.1 Worksheet, Pontiac Review, Louisiana Literature, Abbey, 805, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Poem, Third Wednesday, One Trick Pony, Plainsongs, and others. She has published 17 books, most recently, SUCH DEATHS from the Visual Arts Cooperative Press in Chicago. She is a former Poet Laureate of Oklahoma and has been nominated seven times for a Pushcart Prize.