Yesterday was my daughter's 15th birthday.
She had it planned for months,
walking with her girlfriends arm-and-arm
on the barricaded side of the road
in the bright chill air, 
snow melting, fur-lined
boots crunching
on the crowd-
teeming blacktop,
Garden of Lights
on the other side
of the big gate wrought iron
spelling occasion
in a million blinking lights. 
Standing in line,
I stepped off the edge
of December,
wearing too-thin gloves,
unable to come up with the currency,
my credit card spitting out
one rolled up receipt
after another,
a t e r r i b l e word
in asterisks

© Tori Grant Welhouse