21st Birthday

by Antoinette Voûte Roeder

A month late
for my birthday
I come home depleted.

On the dining table stands
without wrapping or ribbon,
a present from
my mom and dad.
Shiny black accents,
pearl grey exterior,
it is a tape recorder,
reel to reel,
latest model.
Flaps on the sides
hold hidden caches
of wires and
a microphone.
The speakers form
the lid whose equal parts
meet in the middle.
My father, quietly proud,
shows me what to plug in where.

I come home empty
having birthed a child
not mine to keep.
Others have received her.

For me there is
a tape recorder.

Antoinette Voûte Roeder has been writing since she was sixteen. In the meantime she has earned two degrees in music, taught piano, reared a couple of children, then studied to become a spiritual director. She has been published in various journals, magazines, and a couple of anthologies. Her first book of poetry, Weaving the Wind, was published in 2006. The second, Still Breathing, came out this spring. Currently Antoinette leads retreats and workshops and mentors people on their life journeys in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Her books are currently available on the websites for Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

An Interview with Antoinette Voûte Roeder: The Poetry of Reunion, Poetry as Communion by Tania Pryputniewicz

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