Serving House: A Journal of Literary Arts
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SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

Jessica’s First Birthday

by Richard King Perkins II

Glenn Miller tried climbing out of the basement
but we had the door jammed shut
so he couldn’t get out and the little kids
wouldn’t fall down the stairs
and crash into the orchestral arrangement.

The horns eventually died down
and thin-skinned balloons suffered a similar fate.
We decided it was time to sing that song
but by this time everyone was a little drunk
and the band had already escaped

so Jessica opened her gifts in awkward silence,
and because it was her first birthday
she didn’t seem to think anything was unusual
even when her grandpa spilled wine on the carpet
trying to hum a tune he couldn’t find words for.


SHJ Issue 13
Fall 2015

Richard King Perkins II

is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He lives in Crystal Lake, Illinois with his wife Vickie and daughter Sage. He is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Writing for six years, his work has appeared in more than a thousand publications including The Louisiana Review, Bluestem, Emrys Journal, Sierra Nevada Review, Roanoke Review, The Red Cedar Review, and Crannog. He has poems forthcoming in The William and Mary Review, Sugar House Review, Plainsongs, Free State Review, and Milkfist. He was a recent finalist in the Blue Bonnet Review Spring Poetry Contest, the Rash Awards, Sharkpack Poetry Review’s Alchemical Valentine, and the Writer’s Digest and Bacopa Literary Review poetry contests.

“...we have been born here to witness and celebrate. We wonder at our purpose for living. Our purpose
is to perceive the fantastic. Why have a universe if there is no audience?” — Ray Bradbury