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[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the June 17, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] janetmiles and Helga. It also fills the "Another year older: Birthdays" square in my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

"Birthday Bread"

"Hard to believe it's been a year,"
Igor said as he dressed Adam.

Victor glanced at the wooden wall calendar
painted with cheerful red and yellow flowers
that read Dienstag 16 JUN.
"We've come a long way since then."

It hurt a little to think back
on how bleak Igor's life had been
before he met Victor and they made Adam.

Now they were a family,
a bit odd perhaps, but
dear to each other and
loyal as could be.

Victor and Igor were working out
the complicated layers of their relationship.
They had a home in the castle and
good friends down in the village,
people who trusted them enough
to call for a doctor when one was needed.

"Tată," said Adam,
Romanian for 'daddy.'
He hadn't quite sorted out
different titles for the two of them.

They all went down to the village
to celebrate Adam's birthday.

The baker's wife Anne
had made cozonac,
the all-purpose festive bread,
which by village tradition was
filled with several different
colors and flavors of rahat candy
for a birthday celebration.

Adam liked porridge well enough
and was starting to pick up
boiled vegetables to eat, and so
they let him try a piece of cozonac.

He nibbled at the bread,
but once he discovered the candy,
he squealed with glee
and tore apart the slice
to pick out the little cubes
of red and yellow and green.

Victor laughed at his son's antics
and tousled Adam's silky hair.
Then he went off to find himself
a fresh mug of birch beer.

Adam's friend Sorin toddled over
and helped himself to the sweet bread
that Adam was rejecting in favor of rahat.
Adam not only did not mind sharing
but helpfully shoved the crumbs
in Sorin's general direction.

"Adam is such a sweet child,"
Anne said to Igor.
"It's a shame about the scars.
But for that he'd be adorable."

"I'll thank you not to repeat that
where Victor can hear you,"
Igor said, quietly but firmly.
"Adam's mother died
in a terrible accident,
and it was miracle enough
that Adam could be saved."

This was even partially true,
as one of the donor infants
for Adam's body had come
from a pregnant woman
killed in a carriage crash.

Anne sniffed at Igor
and went back to her baking.

Bálint came over with a platter of mici,
meat rolls fresh from the grill,
offering some to Igor.

"Thanks," Igor said. "I need something
to put in my mouth to prevent me
from saying anything stupid."

"Anne is a good cook,"
Bálint said with a shake of his head,
"but she clucks like a wet hen."

Igor just nodded, mouth full of delicious mici.
Adam's scars only showed if you looked for them.

Victor returned with not one but two
mugs of birch beer, handing the second
to Igor as he asked, "Happy day?"

"Happy day," Igor agreed,
watching his adorable son
try to draw on the plate with
a piece of bright red rahat.

* * *


Perpetual calendars are often made of wood in various styles. German ones are very popular throughout central Europe. I actually found this wall calendar after I set Adam's birthday!

tată -- "father" in Romanian

Adam is turning one year old now! He knows a few words and enjoys manipulating small objects with his hands.

Cozonac is a sweet bread made for all different special occasions in Romania. It may be filled with numerous things including spices, fruit, nuts, or candy. For the purposes of this series, the village uses different fillings to distinguish the type of celebration; birthday bread has multiple colors/flavors of rahat. Also known as Turkish Delight or lokum, rahat is easy to make at home.

Mici is similar to unskinned sausage, made from ground meat and spices.

Disability awareness is important for everyone's safety and sanity. Children with disabilities have a higher risk of being bullied by other children or by adults. Know the basics of disability etiquette and how to include children with special needs. If someone is rude to a handicapped person or their family, bystanders can help by expressing disapproval of that and by supporting the handicapped person. In Adam's case, the scars are a social disability rather than a physical one; there are a lot of them but they really are fading. Some people are just snotty.


Date: 2014-06-20 07:42 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Child's birthday meal followed by the traditional child's birthday bath, followed by the traditional parent's bath and ending with the mopping of the mess, exhausted parent's nap and Child Too Hyper to Sleep.

Grin. Welcome to parenthood, gentlemen. You've gotten enough of the basics down to be prepared for the next two stages, often called "No" and "Why?". Given that Adam is /your/ child, these will develop simultaneously!

I'm left happy, fond of the /majority/ of the community, and with a strong urge to send the daddies a cask of birch beer. Thanks for posting this!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-21 02:11 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Yay! I'm glad you used my prompt.

I like this, but Anne needs to learn when to shut her gob. Seriously, who /says/ things like that? I have seen some ugly babies in my time, but they and their parents never knew it. It's called /tact/. And anyway, scars aren't ugly. Stupid people are stupid.

But the rest of it? Beautiful. And I can relate to it, as well.

Re: You're welcome!

Date: 2014-06-21 04:18 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
>> Lots of people. There are some like Anne in any community who are just kind of snotty. But this is the mild end of verbal abuse toward disabled folks and their families. People can be vicious. I've seen plenty, and heard more from my friends with handicaps. Maybe some of them will share other examples on this thread. <<

Unfortunately, I'm all too aware of that. I was more trying to express my opinion of the type of person who would say something like that. Especially about a one year old. Seriously, that's beyond.

>> Which is a skill, which some people develop far more than others. <<

My tact is set at Poor(-2), but even I know better than that shit.

>> Some are, some aren't. Scars from cuts usually don't look awful. Burn scars can look pretty bad, as can scars from anything else that destroys tissue, such as certain snake or spider bites. <<

Well, one of my 'aunts', my mama's cousin, was burned over 85% of her body when she was young, either eight or ten. She is one of the nicest people you ever want to meet, and gives wonderful hugs. I can't help but think that my aunt is beautiful. *shrugs*

>> I don't think Adam's are bad. There are kind of a lot but they are clean and neat, by this point no more than pale lines running across his skin. In this series Victor and Igor have rather more skill than the wretched patchwork displayed in classic portrayals of "Frankenstein's creature." <<

I always wondered, if someone has the skill to bring a dead body to life, shouldn't they also be able to make the scars neat?

>> Of course, regardless of the appearance, that doesn't make it okay to insult someone. It is nobody else's business anyhow. <<

People should learn to mind their business. Of course, shit-stirrers are everywhere, some more harmful than others.

Anyway, Happy Birthday to Adam. Incidentally, his birthday is two days before my son's. He's seven, now.

Re: You're welcome!

Date: 2014-06-22 08:16 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
>> There is the beauty of physical perfection. There is the beauty of flawed or fragile things. There is the beauty of the soul. All of these are equally true, just not the same. <<

I think that my aunt's beauty is how, even with all of the pain, she is still such a strong, giving person. She doesn't hesitate to love, and to show it, and she's a cop, so there is also strength of mind and will.

>> You can see that in this poem, how Adam is adorable to his parents, because he's a sweet child rather than being based on any physical requisites. <<


>> Well, they are separate skills; in canon Victor seemed more of an engineer than a physician. But yes, I would've expected better skills. In this series, Victor's stitchery is competent but Igor has the better hand for delicate work, partly because he sews clothes and that gives him more practice. <<

Good points, all.

A very good poem, and I will tell you that the mention of Turkish Delight made me think of C.S. Lewis.

Re: You're welcome!

Date: 2015-08-01 05:00 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] tresta
I just discovered this series and am enjoying it very much. I came over from the Avenger's series.

I also thought of Edmund and the Witch when Turkish Delight was mentioned in the notes. I always loved the soft, white Brachs candy with the colored bits in it that was available in the big candy bin at the grocery store when i was a kid. I don't think that is Turkish Delight, but I do wonder if there are similarities.

Didn't you write another time about your love of the scent and taste of roses? This would have been in the comments. I think there was a reference to candy (more Turkish Delight?) with a rose flavor.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-06-20 09:47 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Cool! Birthday bread! I might have to make this sometime...

Happy Birthday, Adam!


Date: 2014-06-20 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
It sounded very tasty to me, especially as I enjoy sweet breads, filled breads, and Turkish delight.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-08-30 08:55 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, what a lovely poem. (Although I agree with the other commenters about Anne. *SIGH* Stupid nasty people are stupid. And unfortunately to be found in most places. Well done Igor, for dealing with her so well.)

Happy birthday, Adam!



ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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