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Poem: "Birthday Bread" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Birthday Bread"
This poem came out of the June 17, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and Helga. It also fills the "Another year older: Birthdays" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

"Birthday Bread"

"Hard to believe it's been a year,"
Igor said as he dressed Adam.

Victor glanced at the wooden wall calendar
painted with cheerful red and yellow flowers
that read Dienstag 16 JUN.
"We've come a long way since then."

It hurt a little to think back
on how bleak Igor's life had been
before he met Victor and they made Adam.

Now they were a family,
a bit odd perhaps, but
dear to each other and
loyal as could be.

Victor and Igor were working out
the complicated layers of their relationship.
They had a home in the castle and
good friends down in the village,
people who trusted them enough
to call for a doctor when one was needed.

"Tată," said Adam,
Romanian for 'daddy.'
He hadn't quite sorted out
different titles for the two of them.

They all went down to the village
to celebrate Adam's birthday.

The baker's wife Anne
had made cozonac,
the all-purpose festive bread,
which by village tradition was
filled with several different
colors and flavors of rahat candy
for a birthday celebration.

Adam liked porridge well enough
and was starting to pick up
boiled vegetables to eat, and so
they let him try a piece of cozonac.

He nibbled at the bread,
but once he discovered the candy,
he squealed with glee
and tore apart the slice
to pick out the little cubes
of red and yellow and green.

Victor laughed at his son's antics
and tousled Adam's silky hair.
Then he went off to find himself
a fresh mug of birch beer.

Adam's friend Sorin toddled over
and helped himself to the sweet bread
that Adam was rejecting in favor of rahat.
Adam not only did not mind sharing
but helpfully shoved the crumbs
in Sorin's general direction.

"Adam is such a sweet child,"
Anne said to Igor.
"It's a shame about the scars.
But for that he'd be adorable."

"I'll thank you not to repeat that
where Victor can hear you,"
Igor said, quietly but firmly.
"Adam's mother died
in a terrible accident,
and it was miracle enough
that Adam could be saved."

This was even partially true,
as one of the donor infants
for Adam's body had come
from a pregnant woman
killed in a carriage crash.

Anne sniffed at Igor
and went back to her baking.

Bálint came over with a platter of mici,
meat rolls fresh from the grill,
offering some to Igor.

"Thanks," Igor said. "I need something
to put in my mouth to prevent me
from saying anything stupid."

"Anne is a good cook,"
Bálint said with a shake of his head,
"but she clucks like a wet hen."

Igor just nodded, mouth full of delicious mici.
Adam's scars only showed if you looked for them.

Victor returned with not one but two
mugs of birch beer, handing the second
to Igor as he asked, "Happy day?"

"Happy day," Igor agreed,
watching his adorable son
try to draw on the plate with
a piece of bright red rahat.

* * *


Perpetual calendars are often made of wood in various styles. German ones are very popular throughout central Europe. I actually found this wall calendar after I set Adam's birthday!

tată -- "father" in Romanian

Adam is turning one year old now! He knows a few words and enjoys manipulating small objects with his hands.

Cozonac is a sweet bread made for all different special occasions in Romania. It may be filled with numerous things including spices, fruit, nuts, or candy. For the purposes of this series, the village uses different fillings to distinguish the type of celebration; birthday bread has multiple colors/flavors of rahat. Also known as Turkish Delight or lokum, rahat is easy to make at home.

Mici is similar to unskinned sausage, made from ground meat and spices.

Disability awareness is important for everyone's safety and sanity. Children with disabilities have a higher risk of being bullied by other children or by adults. Know the basics of disability etiquette and how to include children with special needs. If someone is rude to a handicapped person or their family, bystanders can help by expressing disapproval of that and by supporting the handicapped person. In Adam's case, the scars are a social disability rather than a physical one; there are a lot of them but they really are fading. Some people are just snotty.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: June 20th, 2014 09:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Cool! Birthday bread! I might have to make this sometime...

Happy Birthday, Adam!
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 20th, 2014 11:20 pm (UTC) (Link)


It sounded very tasty to me, especially as I enjoy sweet breads, filled breads, and Turkish delight.
2 comments or Leave a comment