Ben Langhinrichs

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The Birthday Gal (a poetic shout-out)

Fri 11 Jul 2008, 05:29 PM

by Ben Langhinrichs
On the occasion of my oldest daughter's 22nd birthday, here is a shout-out of sorts...

Happy Birthday!

The Birthday Gal
Darling daughter, oh so pretty, living far off in the city,
Asked me to write something witty, witty for her birthday treat.
Asked me with her way disarming (she can be so very charming),
"Please, Dad, won't you write me something, something cool, but still discreet!"
So my poet's hat I'm wearing as I stare at this blank sheet,
What to write that's short but sweet?

I could write about her beauty, how the guys shout "Hiya, cutie!"
When she walks out on the street.  But I'd prob'ly be dead meat.
Though she surely likes attention, she might have some apprehension
If her looks I were to mention, mention that she looks so neat.
It might lead to my ascension, 'less I beat a fast retreat.
What to write and not get beat?

Maybe if I said she's brainy, comes up with ideas so zany
She could work for Vice-Prez Cheney, if her views weren't so... elite.
If she weren't so leftish leaning (and viewed him not so demeaning)
Guess she'll not pass White House screening 'till a Dem's in the hot seat.
She'll not work inside the system 'till regime change is complete.
It's too soon to walk that beat.

Perhaps talk of social graces, how she matches names to faces
Not the way my mind disgraces me when some old friend I meet.
She is always cool, collected, as each face is recollected.
('Twill be handy if elected, if she wins a Senate seat)
But such talk might be too boastful, might be seen as indiscreet.
What to write that's not conceit?

Oh, my mind's in such a tizzy, I am starting to feel dizzy
And my thoughts are getting whizzy, I must stop and plead defeat.
There is nothing that I can say that won't cause my daughter's dismay
There is sure to be hell to pay if these thoughts I start to bleat.
If I don't soon cease this bleating, if these thoughts I don't delete.
Me'thinks silence is discreet.

* In a format best known as that used in Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven".
The rhyme scheme is 
ABCBBb DBEBBb ... where the B is trochaic octameter cataletic and the b is trochaic tetrameter cataletic and all other lines are trochaic tetrameter acataletic. Lots of internal rhyming.

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