Home Family & Friends Effects poem – “Birthdays”
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Here is a poem that I wrote a last year, for a piece of English homework, before I realised that it was too dark to submit. I wrote this before I began going to counselling, for my own eyes, and it now feels that I have an appropriate platform on which to share it, with people who might be able to relate.

I kindly request that you do not plagiarise my internal thoughts and tribulations.


I have always wondered,
“What is the point to celebrating birthdays?”
And to this I have never had an answer.
Surely it is an excuse for celebration,
A day on which we acknowledge
The beginning of our existences
Which we take for granted.

Some people won’t say when
Their birthday is,
And prefer to keep it a sempiternal secret,
In a box, underneath their bed.

One more than one occasion,
It has crossed my mind
That it was not my choice to be born.
And the constant stress and anxiety
Over whether I do myself justice
Causes me to
Constantly seek a distraction from my monachopsis.

“Would people notice
If I suddenly was to disappear?”
Resonates and thunders within my ears
And my altschmerz weighs my back even more heavily than before.

But then I remember my mum and my dad,
And my little brother,
Who would most likely be sad.
It is a terrible weight to force someone to bear,
For them every day to question
whether my disconsolate nature could have been their fault.
I cannot be so selfish.

My birthday is not for me,
It is a celebration of
My existence and the joy
And difference I can make on the people in my life,
And helps to remind me that
Our lives are not our own.

They belong to the strangers
That we smile at in the street.
And as we do so,
We hope that we have reminded them
That all they have to do
Is to stay until their next birthday.


Stay safe, stay alive.

– Charlotte


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Robert77 3/23/2021 - 3:19 pm

That was a very beautiful poem and it didn’t seem to be dark to me at all. I have wrote some dark stuff that might be to dark for even here lol.

to_the_end 3/23/2021 - 6:43 pm

Thank you so much, I by no means consider myself much of a poet but it’s so nice to hear that someone appreciated it.

I suppose it’s more of the ideas that were invoked from what I had written, and it seemed a little dark for schoolwork, although perhaps it’s just my mindset that caused me to interpret the ideas in that way.

happy girl 3/23/2021 - 3:38 pm

“It is a celebration of
My existence and the joy
And difference I can make on the people in my life,
And helps to remind me that
Our lives are not our own.”

It’s a blessing and a curse that our lives are not our own. Beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing.

to_the_end 3/23/2021 - 6:46 pm

I entirely agree. The impact that we know that we have on others keeps us painfully yet beautifully tethered to our own lives, and it can be so cruel for one to want to leave, yet not know the details of the chain reaction that we begin.

Thank you so much, and you’re very welcome.

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