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Better Than a Card

"Happy Birthday Dear Nee-Chan!"
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Published 6 years ago
Swiveling to and fro, I pondered over my desk. Paper covered every inch that the wood finish could not be seen. The elegant pose of the pen in hand, lightly pressed to the thin white sheet , blank and ready for inspiration. I wrote rapidly, each stroke made with a clear choice, even though my O's were a little too big and my S's often turned into 8's.

I picked up the page, read it over a few times, before crumpling it up and tossing it to the overloaded pile of rejected works. This can't be any old poem. It had to have meaning. It had to have heart! It was my dear Nee-chan's birthday, and this gift had to be a work of art.

I sat there and thought, swiveled in the chair and thought some more. I flung the pen away in an angry outburst of no inspiration hitting me. It was soon followed by me banging my head on the desk.

I just felt the disappointment when she didn't get anything more then a happy birthday from me, I was more so disappointed in myself for not being able to think of something. A sly glimpse at the clock, it was only 8:56 in the morning, I had all day to think of something.

So I gathered my things and ran out the door to start my day.

I rode my bike down to the bus stop, as I tested out a rhyme.

Happy birthday, my dear.
Go have a beer.
No wait beer is disgusting.
And not all that trusting.

I immediately tossed that idea. That was just, oh my god, I didn't even know!
I came up to the bus stop, right by the local food market. Conjoined were several other shops, one was a card shop. I didn't even hesitate to ignore it. I was not getting my Nee-chan a generic birthday card.

The bus came, and I rode to school. During which I tossed around another idea.

Your birthday traveled a long time,
Now that it is here,
Don't let it end.

Okay, I thought the previous one was bad, but that! That was just the worst, by far.
My first class was Astronomy, and I handed in a lab on the stars. It took me a few hours just to finish it when I was hit by another idea.

Dear Sister, you are like the night time sky.
There are stars in your hair,
Your eyes as bright as the moon.

Whoa! Slow down me! Birthday, not awkward love poem. I was failing at this, and I wasted half the day already. So I ran over to the library and logged onto a computer. There I sat staring at a blank screen willing thoughts to come to me.

Blank blank, that's my head.
Ideas and images stripped and were shred.
To wish her a happy birthday.
Was harder then work on Sunday.

I reread it and erased it. That last line was a little hard. Nothing was harder than work on a Sunday. I checked the clock, and I jumped up, I was about to be late to my Human Ecology class.

Humans, such mortal things.
Their birthdays come and go,
Just the same.
And you dear sister,
Just not the same.
Your birthday immortalized,
Just like your name.

That one wasn't half bad, but it still wasn't right. I tried to improve it during class, but I ended up forgetting the poem after my class finished. I went to go get food before heading home on the 6 pm bus.

Be it cake,
Or be it pie,
Neither is a lie.
But one you can only take.
Both you have to bake.
Choices are tough,
Both are rough.
Just don't get a tummy ache.

It was going good, until I realized, I screwed up the rhyme and just splicing in a line completely failed. I began to fear that Nee-chan won't be getting anything from me this year. I would have to make it up somehow.

I thought what I could do, perhaps I should call instead, but she never picks up the phone.

I looked up and I found that after I got off the bus, I wandered mindlessly over to that card shop. I hung my head in shame and entered. It came down to the different shades and hues of paper each different image plastered on the front. Some with intensive poems on the front, others a small blurb leading into a bad joke. I glanced over them all, while the poems were nice, they were not my words. For my words were better than just some card I could just buy.

With new determination I ran out and went home. I had little time left so this had to be really good, or I was sending a bunch of flops and she could pick out her favorite.

Hey, it's your birthday.
So much fun in a way.
Just don't get carried away.

Do what you want.
You can always taunt,
With the moves you flaunt.

But today, we all see you anyway.
Don't ask me how... Anyway!
This got awkward, anyway...

It's your birthday, it's true.
A day especially for you.
And though it is now late noon,
May the 4th be with you?

Yes! I had to throw in a Star Wars pun! Love ya Nee-chan. Happy birthday!


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