The Importance of July in 1978
On July 25th, nineteen-seventy-eight,
If you asked some biologists: "What’s been so great?"
They would mention the name of a girl, Louise Brown,
Born ex vitro that day with historic renown:
Of her parents we learn that just one was a rube
And the other a glass-graduated test tube.
But if you’re asking me, maybe ‘cause I’m a joker,
I would have to retort (get it, retort?) that that birth was so... mediocre.
So now, lest your attention span get all too shortened,
Let us talk about somebody really important:
In the year MCMLXVIII
On July 25th, I shall not tell a lie,
The momentous occurrence to happen that day,
(With Gregorian shipping old Julian away),
Was the birth of a girl (you) in easternmost Kansas
Named in Latin: Montgómerarúm Juliansis.
Hackenorum the clan, but now Josh is your man,
Squeezing Thomas, Elijah and Joseph in van.
Ah, the pleasures of raising a family, the joys,
As you scramble around to keep up with the boys!
Doing just enough math, we can all figure out
The exact age of you, Juliana, no doubt:
By subtracting from this year, two-thousand-and-eight
Your own birth year of one-nine-and-seventy-eight,
Taking into account as we act and we count
All the thoughts and the memories we deem paramount,
The remainder of years that have made you so pretty
Result in the answer: right now you are thirty!
As you view with your eyes most objective this sum,
Please don’t leap to conclusions post-hasty or dumb!
Since although to your thinking, this age may be ancient,
We will tell you with earnestness: wait and be patient.
If you think you’re old now, just hold on to your horses;
Just keep waiting till three sons have run through their courses
Of childhood and teenage and many more years –
Only then will you realize your terrors and fears
As deep wrinkles appear and the thought makes you sad
That you’ll then be as old as your mom and your dad!
Dick Hacken for Juliana Montgomery, his daughter.
July 25, 2008