One of the things I like about offering previews of poems is getting to provide a bit of context where I wouldn’t otherwise get more than the lines on the page. “Noel” is a poem that is made richer with context.
If you’ve never dated an author, you might be lucky. Authors spend a lot of time in their own heads. And when I am in a relationship, I can see the possible futures branching in all directions, detailed like novel plots. I’m not clairvoyant; they won’t play out exactly like I imagine. (Boy, could I have saved myself some trouble if all of my imaginings were accurate!) But they feel real to me. And many of them are futures I might work toward, fulfilling my own prophecies.
I dreamt after a particularly heart-wrenching breakup that I had a new child who faded from existence in front of me. I dreamt “Noel”. And that dandelion ghost still sticks with me.
My darling boy with dimples pitting either side of your crescent-chasm grin,
espresso eyes alight with mischief.
My sensitive nerves, the coiled springs under my skin, fill you,
and your hair hints at the overwhelm,
wild in all directions.
You release my hand after your too-short legs clear the Goliath stairs.
You run full tilt at your dad
who wears your grin
and waits with open arms.
You run like he might change his mind
about another round of “Up-Up”.
And he has, my poor love.
He unbelieves us.
You scatter before my eyes.
My so-solid boy.
Like you are made of dandelion seeds
and only my stubbornness shields you from an out-of-faith gale.
I fall to my knees.
And you fade.
You were Noel because you were Christmas every day.