Lyrics to a birthday

the old men in the park remind me of children
they play their games and laugh and drink
the old days fade into dusty yellow books
they smile at me, their teeth askew
the old memories, they never go away
I am a year older

the morning brings cats, hiding in the bushes
they meow and hiss and slink away
grandmas walk little white dogs
boys and girls kick balls between cars
my brakes squeal, the front tires rattle
I am a year older

the river is frozen solid
under the bridge the water has broken
men fish on ice, poles in water-holes
they are like modern eskimos, without the hoods
cars pound smoke into the street
I am a year older

today they sang happy birthday in two languages
sheng ri kuai le, they sang, happy birthday to you
being here, at this moment, feels like watching rain
the window slashed with streaks of water, ragged, smooth
dreams of green hills and laughing children fill me
I am a year older

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