In Iowa, some decades ago
I arrived, and dismayed, said “Say it ain’t so!”
The tenth to be born to a family struggling
Amidst endless corn…it was patently troubling

Perhaps the stork took a wrong turn
It was for New York that I yearned
The upper East Side to be exact
I could easily abide that side of the tracks

But I’ve not come to dote upon fraudulent fate
but rather to take note of those born on this date
Saint John of the Cross who cared for the soul
Charles Whitman of loss, the opposite pole

The 24th day of June brought us the astronomer, Archie Roy
Who gazed upon the moon, an honored Scottish boy
and as I look this list over I see Al Molinaro
(sad to say that last October, he ran out of tomorrows)

and then an architect who was master and ruled the links
Who could forget Billy Casper? Everyone, I think.
Carolyn Shoemaker (not a cobbler, instead she studied planets)
a history-maker – now we forgot her, I simply cannot stand it!

Birthday brothers Jeff Beck, Arthur Brown and Astro
Will reach the end of their treks, down to the past go
stars of screen, literature, football and hockey
Not all will be missed for sure: George Pataki

No matter what we do with our lives, it all slips away
While we are here we may thrive but then there comes a day
when we drift from the consciousness of those who remain
and one day when they talk of us, we will be “what’s his name?”

But today it is summer, we are alive – what luck!
it’s sort of a bummer that we die, but what the fuck?
We have each other, let us praise “let it be”
I would not trade for another. Happy Birthday to me!

Dennis Caraher


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