BLOW YOUR CANDLES AND BE MERRY
I shut the door behind me with excuse to change
the night is too hot to be in a birthday dress
dinner was filling, Italian like every other year
the one occasion Dad sacrifices his Asian palate.
Marty the zebra taught me to celebrate
that hitting a decade is the big deal
more than just another year
it’s getting the two digits: one oh.
Thirteen opened a can of worms
bop-cut without blow-drying skills
braces and crushes without breasts (yet)
boys that only want one thing: cleats.
Fifteen taught me of double-edged swords,
journals are your only listener
and your worst traitor,
maturing is hard for all and impossible for some,
and birthdays aren’t just for blowing candles.
It’s a goodbye to seasons
that end alongside last year’s number
immortalised in CD-ROMs under titles like IMG_2093
Or worse, on the family collage wall.
realising Hannah Montana will be less relatable
answered dreams are no longer perfect dates
sent to bed with emojis and gif hearts
but of straight HDs and signed contracts
And soy cappuccinos before brunch.
And it’s in your double-digit years
where you find that with each larger number
comes a smaller group of people
to blow your candles
to hide anger journals
to laugh at rejection texts
to question why the world revolves only one way
yet left alone to answer which way yours would go.
Laetitia Djaja enjoys scribbling lines on train rides and coffee dazes. Sometimes she turns them into poetry. Laetitia currently resides in Melbourne, Australia while undergoing her postgraduate study.