August’s Child*

August’s Child is much neglected,
This month for a birthday unwisely selected,
Parents (one might speculate)
Hoping for a September date…
To stake a place in the new school year
Ensuring the kid’s developmentally in gear,
With those of us born in the summer vacation
Left trailing behind under equal expectation
And worse than that, when the birthdays come
There’s no-one available to share the fun…
This the season of family vacations,
Time elsewhere for relaxation,
Laying in the sunshine, wondering the streets
Trying out the phrasebook and new things to eat
Writing postcards saying ‘Wish You Were Here!’
-Or maybe that’s the language of wine and beer…?
In any event, we grow stronger with practice
Inured by the knowledge this is no act of malice
-Not that it really makes that much difference,
The years of practice an established defence
Added to always being last in line,
A position the British school year defines,
So compounding a sense of place
Which is sometimes difficult to manage with grace,
The six week break compounding awareness
That birthdays in the summer bear a sense of unfairness,
Playmates somehow spirited away
On account of the family holiday,
Leaving a mark that’s hard to erase
With the endless stretch of empty days,
Like letters through a stick rock
Or a fizzy-drink stain on yer party frock…  (!) (again, ! )


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