I ring to wish you Happy Birthday,
you are eighty-nine, though I don’t mention that.
Nor do I remind you that it’s twenty years
since your brain haemorrhage,
that we thought for a while you wouldn’t survive.
You did, do, but twenty years sooner may not have.
You remind me you lived through World War Two,
not like the pandemic; you could visit your grandma.
We say we will get through this,
do not say we’ll meet again before long,
that next year you’ll be ninety,
that you will still be here.
Peter Donnelly lives in York. He has degrees in English and Creative Writing from the University of Wales Lampeter. He has been published in the South Bank magazine, the Beach Hut, the Barn Owl Trust anthology ‘Wildlife Words’, the League of Poets anthology ‘Songs of Peace’ and the Ripon Poetry Festival anthology ‘Seeing Things’. He is soon to be published in the Dreich magazine.