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Click on the Poets name to read their poetry:

Raenell Dawn    Neil Rosenthal     Josette Kurey     Guadalupe Cantu de Medina    Gretchen Christopher

Sharon O'Riley     To Sharna     Scotia Sharpe     John Cornfield     Darcy Hill     Joyce West     Ann Hodgkin

Poetry by Raenell



By Raenell Dawn, 2002

I'm a little Leapling, smart and fun.
When I turn four, I'll really be one.
I'm a little Leapy, with lots to do.
When I turn eight, I'll really be two.
I'm a little Leaper, with lots to see.
When I turn twelve, I'll really be three.
I'm a Leap Day Baby, and so much more.
When I turn sixteen, I'll really be four.

by Raenell Dawn - Inspired by APW 2003

My birthday is in February,
But it's not always there.
Adults don't understand it,
and don't seem to care.

They say I'm only 1,
when I'm really 4!
They say I'm 2 when I'm 8,
Can't they count anymore?

Sometimes I wish my birthday
would appear on command.
Being born on Leap Day
is hard to understand.

But others like me
called Leap Day Babies
tell me how cool it is,
especially in your eighties!

So I'll try to like it
and make it a birthday heaven.
But I wont be 2 and 3/4!
I'm going to be ELEVEN! 

by Raenell Dawn 2002

Leap Year, Leap Year
When will you be?
Every four years
Then you'll see.
You want more?
We do too!
How many more
can you Leap to?

by Raenell Dawn 2002

There is a girl named Raenell
Who didn't like her birthday very well.
When she turned 13,
she thought it quite mean,
It was her birthday but no one could tell!

(You may substitute the first line with: There is a girl/boy I know well...)

A Birthday Party Invitation
For This Off Year 2009

I'm a little Leapling, smart and fun.
When I turn four is when I'll really be one.
That's in Leap Years, of course you knew.
In annual years, not even one I've been through!

This is an "off year", February 29 is not there.

Three more years till then, but I don't care.

I hope you'll help celebrate my 1st year here.

Even though my Real Birth Day isn't 'till next Leap Year!

For a birthday this year in 2009,

Please join my family and me as we celebrate mine.

In annual years there hasn't been any.

This is my First, I hope my guests will be many!

by D. D. Ochampeterspaughson 2007 

28 days has February
A very light load for one month to carry

The other months have 2 and 3 more
Thirty and thirty-one being their big score

In Leap Years the days they do vary
Making 29 days in February

Poetry by Neil


by Neil Rosenthal

copyright 1997 © All Rights Reserved.

I have a friend her name is Raenell
She has an interesting story to tell
The date of her birth was special in time
The month was February the date was twenty-nine

She tried to find others born on this date
She needed a plan, hoped it was not too late
Searching the Internet what did she find
A whole lot of people born on 2-29

So go read the story of this brave lass
She certainly has a lot of class
You will find it at a place we call home

by Neil Rosenthal

copyright 2003 © All Rights Reserved.

There is a special day that comes once every four years
It brings lots of smiles and never any tears
Thousands of people all over the world
Wait for this day, including one special girl

Leap Day brings for those chosen few
Something special, mysterious, and new
Everyone else gets older in time
We stay forever young waiting for February 29

So, Addie, I hope you can see
How special being a Leapy can be
Every four years we all celebrate
Because all of us Leapies are really great.



By Josette Kurey

copyright 2000 © All Rights Reserved.

Because she entered the world
kicking and screaming
on an invisible day,
she did not exist
three of four years.

These years,
she moved through the world
phantomlike -
misty, barely visible,

She absorbed the world
until the images dripped, soapy
from her sponge-like presence,
and when the average changed -

when the day existed in its flash
of white light -
the world moved
through her...
crowds leaving an opera
after the final aria.

For one out of every four,
she leapt.

By Josette Kurey

copyright 2000 © All Rights Reserved.

Enter the world -
scream and kick
at the bright and dawning light
from where you trip:
begin, in haste, to celebrate
a day which most years forget.

Enter the off-years -
contemplate your age;
see it in scientific quarters,
sentences on a page
printed, read, rationalized;
then prepare to take the stage.

Assume the role -
speak the lines;
bow deeply as you sing your song,
you haven't got much time;
the spotlight waits for no one
and a flash will make you blind.

Perform the day -
its ways and means;
crouch low and look long
just as you leap -
but to leave your moment,
kick and scream.

Guadalupe Cantu de Medina


There's no 29 in February this year,
which made me kind of sad.
I thought mom and dad took my birthday away
because I had been bad.

They wiped my tears as they explained
that I'm their Leap Day son,
I have to celebrate in March this year and
pretend that I am one.

Yes, this is how it goes
for all Leap Day girls and boys...
We have to wait a day or more,
for cake, ice-cream and toys!

Submitted by Guadalupe Cantu de Medina
Mother of Joe David Medina, II LDB 2000
copyright 2000 © All Rights Reserved.


February 29 is a special day to me,
Because this year when I turn 12,
I am really only three.
So when you think of Leap Lear,
Remember something more,
That every birthday that you have,
I need to have three more!

Maile was born in 1996.


To my lovely little Leapshun

Your mommy is so proud.
To have born a perfect Leapling
who came down from the clouds.

Your smile and giggles keep me young,
as all you Leapers know..
Happiness is what you bring, everywhere you go!!

And now my life is so complete, all because of you.
My Leapin' girl with honey eyes ..
and love so strong and true.

To my dearest Sharna…. Love, MOMMY

Scotia Sharpe

By Scotia Sharpe

I am a Leap Year baby,
Born on February 29
I was born in the year 2000,
This Special Day was mine.

When it is not a Leap Year
I tell people my birthday
I always get the same thing
When do you celebrate?

I have a party every year
And invite my friends to play
They don't care when it is
They just celebrate my birthday.

This year makes me happy
I will leap and twirl
On February 29th
I'll be a special girl.

I've been here for 8 years
but I am only '2'
You've been around for many years
So how old are you?

(Lead singer and founder of The Fleetwoods)


Happy 2nd Birthday, February Child,
Born February 2nd, as your daddy smiled.

February 29th is my birthday, too,
But I'm more than 7 times older than you.

I've had 15 birthdays, and the year you turn 3
Will be the 16th birthday for me.

You'll be 4, then 5, 6 and 7;
I'll turn 17 and think it's just heaven.

Then you will turn 8, 9, 10 and 11
and I, 18, a difference of seven.

You'll hit 12, 13, 14 and 15;
And 19 will be the Leap age of this teen.

Going from 16, 17, 18 to 19,
You'll have caught up with me: we'll both be 19 --

For just 27 days, though; then I'll move on
To my 20th birthday and a special song.

From then on, each year, you'll be older than I;
I'll remain young, while your years fly by!

How many real years make a Leap Year Babe twenty?
Eighty, my dear; and you may say that's plenty,

But I plan to keep leaping to at least twenty five;
That's the real year I discovered, I love being alive!

Gretchen Christopher copyright 2003 & 2005  © All Rights Reserved.


By Sharon O'Riley 2/29/44 copyright 2003 © All Rights Reserved
1944 was the year,
and Irish lass did appear!

She was a cute leprechaun, as everyone knows,
Her folks did name her sweet "Sharon Rose"!

Now the baby of seven, she had beautiful eyes,
as sparkling and green as the Emerald Isle.!

Now the Rose of Sharon was her name to fame..
A flower so lovely that she did claim!

She had ringlets so golden, a smile to bestow,
on all of her family, did certainly show.

The years they have passed, not a baby anymore.
Ah but "leap year" has helped.need I say more?

How old are you lass? She quickly replies..
I'm only 15...that's my disguise!
Why it's proudly displayed in my "Wild Irish Eyes"!!

By Sharon O'Riley 2/29/44 copyright 2003 © All Rights Reserved
Here's a small ode,
you've never heard before.
About a leap year gal,
celebrating 16 in 2004.

You say,
that's quite a story.
Do tell me more,
so I won't have to worry.

Every four years,
I know I'm getting older.
But I do like leap year,
or have I gotten bolder.

Time to start subtracting,
those great senior years.
Making it a minus,
and no need for tears.

So you need not inquire,
on leap year anymore,
A new one is coming,
four score and 2004!

By Sharon O'Riley 2/29/44 copyright 2003 © All Rights Reserved
One can see,
there's two sides to me.
My home on the northisde,
the other being leapside.

Every four years,
comes the major event.
Celebrating the big one,
and time well spent.

As the rule goes,
three years and 28 days.
But the fourth has 29,
and those candles are ablaze.

I remember those parties,
mom planned for me.
A special cake and presents,
inviting everyone she'd see.

No better birthday,
then leap year resides.
From the girl on the northside,
enjoying her leapside!


Leap ahead,
a new year has come.
Many festivities,
and joy for everyone.
The clock ticks away,
countdown is on.
Auld Lang Syne,
it's definitely time.
Life has a way,
of forging ahead.
to be happy within,
from all I believe in.
Reflections of family,
are with me tonight.
Good friends and happiness,
making all things right.
For this I am grateful,
never cause for fear.
I'm looking forward,
and a leap to the New Year!

Sharon Rose O'Riley, copyright 2004

By Sharon O'Riley 2/29/44 copyright 2003 © All Rights Reserved
Time honored tradition,
of babies we are.
Recognition we deserve,
of leap year by far.

Oh, I'll admit,
was pretty hard to accept.
When as a child,
For three years I wept.

Why oh why,
can't I celebrate today?
Mom would explain,
four years and you'll have your way.

Couldn't understand,
That crazy subtraction.
Of full years and half years,
and all of those fractions.

I'm truly proud,
and one I can see.
Just put me in the picture,
of a society of babies!

By Sharon O'Riley 2/29/44 copyright 2003 © All Rights Reserved

A notion at the ocean,
today I tried to hide.
As the waves approached,
rippling near seaside.

Reminded me of younger days,
salt water at first hand.
Playing with children,
sunbathing on the sand.

Like time in a bottle,
birthdays come and go.
For me this event,
certainly has been slow.

Yes sad as it seams,
four years is a dream.
Each one memorable,
making my eyes gleam.

For today I have cried,
as the tide rolls in.
Waiting for my leaptide,
rushing to the seaside!

By Sharon O'Riley 2/29/44 copyright 2004 © All Rights Reserved

Always stay young,
never grow old.
My leap year story,
is now being told.
Bring on the birthdays,
no need to cry.
A minus four years,
is this reason why.
Celebrations are many,
we all do agree.
Rejoicing with the society,
and that includes me.
Live for today,
for tomorrow always comes.
As we prepare for this event,
there's plenty of fun.
For light years comes first,
and those pass us on by.
But those good old leap years,
do I always rely!


Hey sweet fifteen,
how does it feel?
With Leap Year coming,
a glimpse of youth we steal.
Oh we are the best,
of babies we know.
for after four years,
we steal the show.
Those three years,
we wait for the day.
Cake and the candles,
for sweet fifteen!

Sharon Rose O'Riley
copyright, 2004

Darcy Hill

A Leap Year Birthday
By Darcy Hill of One Arts Infusion Collaborative

She was born on Leap Year Day in 1896,
Way up in north Wisconsin was the place,
The chilly chill of northern winds through February days,
Kept rosy cheeks a’glow on every face.

Little did she know, that precious little one born then,
The great uniqueness of that winter day,
February 29 is rare and special, too,
She’d learn that with each year that blessed her way.

February 29, 1896,
In 1897 would not be,
Nor 1898 clear through 1903,
Not ‘til ‘04, Feb 2-9 did she see.

What? thought she, a little one, with honest wonderment,
What about a birthday for each year?
What about a birthday as I grow and grow and grow?
“What about a birthday?” wasn’t clear.

A gentle wise one standing by said, “Well, it’s time you know,
A special day, a special girl, it’s true,
Birthdays happening once in four years, not at all enough,
A birthday every four years will not do.

So in those years when Feb 2-9 is nowhere to be found,
We’ll sing for you with joy on Feb 2-8,
We’ll keep on singing birthday songs right through the first of March,
For two grand days we’ll sing and celebrate.

We’ll celebrate with songs and smiles and cake and friends galore,
We’ll celebrate the specialness of you,
We’ll share a gift or two or three, and play some games for fun,
We’ll birthday, birthday, birthday both days through.

Leap year is the rarest day of all days in the year,
And to have your birthday fall upon that day,
Is perfectly amazing and fantastic, just like you,
What joy to celebrate this special way.”

So years on years they came and went, one birthday, mostly two,
A glorious and fun birthday routine,
More years on years of life and growth and love to fill her heart,
A happier birthday girl was never seen.

Children, grands, and great-grands all filled up this precious life,
That started Feb 2-9 so long ago,
A life of giving and a life of endless gratitude,
The richest life is simple, as we know.

103, the years that came and celebrations, too,
Though Leap Year, only twenty-five came by,
The little special precious girl with birthday questions big,
Always held a Leap Year sparkle in her eye.

Joyce West

A Leapling Child's Memories

by Joyce West, Leap Day baby

When I was one I was just a quarter
of the one I became at four
My memory of that day is scant
I imagine jellies, cakes and fun.
And so my age progressed
far slower than my schoolmates
who celebrated every year.
At eight I was two and shaken to the core
when my first beau left me for a distant shore
The day I'd looked forward to with joy
was instead a day of torture.
I left the cake so lovingly baked
And instead threw up, filled with sorrow
Crying out how unfair that having waited
For four years my second birthday
Meant no more than those before
Which only counted as a quarter!
By three I was in a better place
Thoughts of boys temporarily shelved
For a day out with my pals.
A West End show and dinner out
Exceeded any quarter party.
No throwing up or loss of face
The misery of four years before
Now forgotten as the hormones raged
And Elvis Presley filled the void
Until I reached the age of four.

I remember more of birthday four
Than any other gone before
Strangers often failed to realise
That my age accrued in quarters.
My birthday party was a laugh
With friends and family bringing toys
To amuse their friend and daughter
Who looked far older than her age
And quietly sipped a glass of gin
Smuggled in by her best mate
Who knew far better there was more
To a girl who aged in quarters
Than drinking juice and eating cake.
The swinging sixties coincided
With a young girl undecided whether
To embrace her age or acknowledge
That the decade offered more
Than any which had gone before.
Here was the chance to seize the day
And make the most of every quarter
Knowing that the next birthday
Would multiply the four by five
And leave the teens behind a memory
To reappear again at thirteen
But now with memories far exceeding
Anything imagined years ago
When birthdays measured out in quarters
Made aging an impossible dream
For a girl of only four!



by ​Ann Hodgkin, a Leap Day baby
Sometime when February met March
In the middle of the night,
I nearly had a birthday,
Yes – nearly but not quite.

I had cards and gifts on Wednesday
And some on Thursday too,
(No-one’s ever very sure
Just when my birthday’s due.)

This two-day celebration,
It really suits me fine,
‘Cause three years out of every four
There is no date that’s mine.

I wonder just what Russel Grant
Would make of my strange fate?
I’ve never known him feature
Someone born upon my date.

I didn’t have a proper birthday
‘Til I was four years old,
But there are some compensations
As my later years unfold.

As my peers approach their twilight years,
And with old age are cursed,
I remind them they’ll be 84
When I reach my 21st!



Ann Hodgkin
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