The Birthday Gift

Matthew Spira
Apr 10 · 2 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Plush Design Studio on Unsplash

“Happy birthday, Grandpa.”
Davis glances at the family portrait
of Mary, me, Ethan, and Faith on my desk
as he slides his present over to me.
I carefully open the wrapping
to reveal three picture frames.

The first is a montage of scenery
from Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
I smile as I set it aside.

The second is of me and Davis
mugging for the camera while standing
on Campus Point at UC Santa Barbara.
The date-stamp on it is ‘08/21/91.’
“Why are you giving me a photo
of these two strange kids?”
“My mother was cleaning out some old boxes
and found those disposable cameras from that trip.
I finally got around to getting them developed.”
“Took you long enough.”

The third frame contains a photograph
of a girl on the beach.
She’d just taken off her T-shirt
and had glanced right at the camera
the instant the picture was taken.
“I thought you’d appreciate the memories.”
There was a noise behind us.
Two girls were picking their way down the rocks
from the top of the cliff.
Davis asked the prettier of the two to take our picture.
She obliged with a smile. “Say cheese…”
We started mugging.
“I hope that turns out,” she said
as she handed the camera back to me instead of Davis.
“What’s your name?”
“Mary.”

— Matthew S. Spira © 2020

Matthew Spira

Ever-growing collection of poetry.

Sign up for Matthew Spira's Poetry

By Matthew Spira

Two featured poems from my publication, emailed once per week on Thursdays.  Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Matthew Spira

Written by

Just a middle-aged dude doing middle-aged things. Poetry repository: matthewspira.org. 1st collection, The End of the Rainbow, on sale: amzn.to/2x5uj

Matthew Spira

Ever-growing collection of poetry. Now with audio (in-progress)!

Matthew Spira

Written by

Just a middle-aged dude doing middle-aged things. Poetry repository: matthewspira.org. 1st collection, The End of the Rainbow, on sale: amzn.to/2x5uj

Matthew Spira

Ever-growing collection of poetry. Now with audio (in-progress)!

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store