gift 29
At this time of year, I often wonder if our universally accepted twelve-month calendar started out as a DIY project.  The months are uneven; some are thirty days, some thirty-one, and poor February seems to have been measured once and cut twice… or maybe three times.  Then we discovered a leftover day lying on the floor that we needed to tack on once every four years to get the darned universe to balance.  Which is fine, unless you happen to be born on that day.  Admittedly, this is rare.  I worked Labor and Delivery for eight years, and although I recall half a dozen babies making their appearance during that weird “extra hour” created by Daylight Savings Time (a separate and equally perplexing issue I won’t delve into here), I have never attended a Leap Day arrival.
My husband and I were both born in leap years—he had only one such classmate; I had zero.  If a person’s birthday falls on Feb 29, how do you calculate her age?  How many candles do you put on her cake?  When she gets her driver’s license, is she sixteen or is she four?  This would be a drag when you’re a kid and want to grow up as quickly as possible, but it would turn into a benefit at some point, like when you’re eighty-four and can truthfully boast to your friends that you’ve just turned twenty-one.  Haven’t we all, at some juncture, wished to be young again?

My husband has found a surefire way to subtract twenty years in under twenty minutes.  Time travel?  Nope.  Just a simple transformation that never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many times I witness it:


With my dark wavy hair
And my cheeks smooth and fair
Half my years, I declare,

But to my dismay
When my whiskers give way
There appear white and gray
In my beard.

Amazingly quick
It grows in nice and thick
People hail “Old Saint Nick”
With a wave.

But a sharp razor blade
Cuts straight through the charade
My old age is waylaid
With a shave.

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  1. humanitiesphilosophy February 28, 2016 / 1:37 am

    I for one am a fan of most all of your writing, alas I feel that this poem may be a bit revealing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan February 28, 2016 / 8:06 am

      Thanks, Hubby! Every good poem or story has a BIG REVEAL.


  2. betunada March 2, 2016 / 11:31 am

    re: babies born during the lost/mysterious Daylite SVGs time hour: there’s either a TWILITE ZONE (or X-files) EPISODE there !


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