Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tom Carson, "Snow Angel"

Christmas morning, I’m walking alone
And everything’s perfect
the snow’s coming down
I can hear the breath of God in my ear
He whispers a secret
- oh I wish I could speak the language of stars
Wish I knew what He says

Just off of the porch of my childhood home
wind kisses my cheek
but I’m warm inside a jacket and sweaters and shirts
that I borrowed from my own old dresser drawers
in the closet in the room that still belongs
to a teenage son that left years ago.

snowflakes fall like memories and hopes
each of them different
but all just the same
I stick out my tongue to taste them all
They melt like Communion bread placed in my mouth
By a priest leaning over the alter rail
This must be Eucharist, this must be peace

I’m a child again, I’m free, I’m a man with a family
I’m my wife sleeping next to me on a bed that we bought,
on a bed we could finally afford
I’m my mother growing older and smaller and finer
Growing sweet and edgy and soft
I’m my father forgetting where I put my name
On a shelf, in a drawer, tucked in a book on the floor
I’m my sister laughing and pulling cheeks
Of nieces and nephews, like she did to me
I’m my brother swinging his kids in his arms
He’s the father he wishes he had
I’m my son, my child, as a baby lying
naked in blankets in Sunday morning sun
I’m all of us now, I’m Christmas morning
And everything’s perfect, the snow’s coming down

Flailing, failing, falling, fallen, fluttering, flying now,
I lie on my back like man in a coffin
Looking up into nothing, or everything falling
Then I spread my arms with my palms open wide
And I wave like a man drowning
With one last beautiful breath
Or maybe like a four year old actor on stage
“It’s me, It’s me, look at me! I’m here, It’s me!”

(Jesus, I wonder if God can see
Through all this flurry
Coming down around me)

Does He see me calling out for help?
For a future I can’t picture, or won’t, out of fear?
Does he see me waving so he’ll wave back,
Just give one divine sign that I’m holy somehow
Or does he
See the shape of the angel I’m making here
On the snowy front lawn of my family home
Like I did as a kid years ago?

for permission to perform or reproduce this piece, please contact the author at tom@carsonproductions.ca