January 19, 1951

Brutally cold January night, but no surprise
to anyone living in Martins Ferry in 1951
Deep snow in layered drifts, like ocean waves
Piled high above front doorsteps

Blustering winds, howl like wildcats
Blowing pitch black coal furnace soot
onto pristine white fresh fallen snow
Black and white, extremes amidst life’s limitless color

Most things, still waiting for spring to be born
4:14 AM, a tiny cry breaks the early morning air
Not winter’s angry wind, but a newborn
Taking life’s first frightening breath

And from that first breath, five hundred million more
Each a new beginning, strung together
like an unimaginably long pearl necklace
Worn as only a man at fifty-seven can wear

You look back, trying to understand
But you never really do
All you know is it all starts with a single breath, and
that is also how it finally ends

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This entry was posted in Birthday Poem, January 19 1951 by Don Iannone. Bookmark the permalink.

About Don Iannone

Don Iannone is a poet, writer, teacher and photographer who lives in the Greater Cleveland area. He has worked in the economic development field for over 35 years. Don is the author of three poetry books and five photography books. He is working on a short book of photographs and poems about human trafficking. This work was exhibited at six venues in Ohio. Don holds an M.A. degree in Art and Consciousness Studies from the University of Philosophical Research in Los Angeles, where he teaches writing. His educational background also includes studies in Anthropology, Photography, Organizational Behavior, and Economic Development. Don’s website: http://www.donaldiannone.com Wisdom Work Press: https://wisdomworkpress.wordpress.com

14 thoughts on “January 19, 1951

  1. Nice one, Don. I remember reading about this in the Times Leader. I was an early reader, you know.
    Yep, Happy Birthday!

  2. Dan: Thanks for the birthday wish. You were an early reader! Yikes. I think it was front page news on the Time Leader: Another River Rat Born Today.

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