My Poem ‘Birthmark’

34 years, 408 months,
1,774 weeks, 12,418 days ago,
on the 21st of April, 1981,
a little boy was born
and two of the most wonderful
and amazing parents
anyone could ask for
were blessed with a son –
that was the day
that I arrived in the world,
and that was when the tapestry of my life
slowly began to unfurl.

Mark James Hastings,
that is the name that I was given at birth
and that is who I have been
since it was printed for all time
on my birth certificate;
son, brother, friend,
wanderer, wonderer,
dreamer, hard-worker,
and 99.9 percent of the time
a lover of life and a writer
in the form of a poet.

People are always telling me
that I don’t look my age;
people are always asking me
what my secret is to having
an old soul inside someone
with such a young face;
people ask me all the time
where I get my ideas from
when I am writing,
and my response to that question
is one word: life –
because that is the epic adventure
that is eternally and limitlessly
exciting, enlightening, and inspiring.

I have flashes of memories of my childhood
that regularly come back to me;
I have emotions of experiences from my life
that daily make me smile and make me cry;
I have mental and physical photos
that I look at with glee;
I have questions that I ask
that begin who…? what…? where…?
when…? how…? why…?
But I will always know and remember
what is important and I will continue
to spread the word about what I have learned
in my life, and sometimes I secretly wish
that I could replay certain special moments
that I have had, even though I know
life is meant to be so that I can’t.

Today is my birthday;
today is a day that is close to my heart;
today is a day when I have so much to say;
today is always the day when I think back
and I talk to my younger self,
and even at the moment that I am born
I visualize myself in the mind
of my infant-self and I leave myself
a message and a question that has no end
that I know I will carry my whole life –
like a defining and indelible birthmark.

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