In a photo, thin, solemn, wide-eyed,
I sit in a high chair
in the back yard
of the little house with the red roof,
a cake with one candle
in front of me.

Afterward, put down for my nap,
wordless happiness,
life had changed:
balloons, presents, cake,
not the other.

When I woke up,
my father came in.
Nothing had changed.