Light through large northern and southern
exposed windows make the high-ceilinged
house a chapel.

The kind of light that turns a face into
a portrait, cheeks lineated by

As we enter the hallway midway
between windows, we shed our jackets.
No streaming sun, as the sky is lightly

overcast. No grand event as we are
here for a birthday lunch with my
step-mother, the first together in over

a year. My son says, we’ll just forget
the last year and we begin to rewrite
history aloud leaving out the year.

It was just last month when we met
in the city for a fish dinner and I
turned thirty. We decide we’ll drop

a year from our ages. Easily done as
one zoom-day-meal-walk merges
with hundreds. How clear and seared

our faces. Something has graced us.
There has never been a birthday before.

Linda Hillman Chayes’ chapbook, The Lapse, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has appeared in journals including American Poetry Journal, 2 Horatio, and Westchester Review. She works as a psychoanalyst with practices in New York City and Westchester. She recently published “The Voice of the Analyst: Narratives in Developing a Psychoanalytic Identity” with Routledge Press.