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FINESSE, by                    
First Line: He came in just at 5:15
Last Line: I've practiced at it twenty years!)
Subject(s): Laughter

He came in just at 5:15
The same as any other day,
But after that he didn't do
A single thing his usual way.

He never even gave the news
A hurried glance. His eye on me
He hid a package in the desk
And I pretended not to see.

He straightened up a book or two
And placed the reading lamp "just so"
(I'd cleaned and dusted thoroughly,
But then, of course, he wouldn't know.)

There came a knock, yes, just at eight,
Then "Happy Birthday" and "Surprise."
My hand flew upward to my throat
I glanced at him and he looked wise.

I laughed and stammered, blinked my eyes
To hide a faithful mist of tears.
(Why shouldn't I appear surprised?
I've practiced at it twenty years!)

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