Sunday, December 26, 2010

Poem of the Week #156

Christmas Day Dream in Blue

On Christmas day,
I walk down to the lake,
a deep winter day
when the lake and the sky
are a symphony to my eye of blue:
grey-blue, white-blue, blue-blue
periwinkle-blue and green-blue.
Don’t forget (near the shore)
a swath of brown-blue, more
brown than blue, like creamed coffee
or liquid toffee churning against the rocks.

I want to walk out to the lighthouse
because who wouldn’t want to stand at the tip
of the world in all that blueness of blue?
My inner mother scolds me: it will be risky
to attempt the lighthouse on a day like this
when no one knows I’m here. One minute,
I could be standing on the breakwater and the next,
Poseidon could rise up and carry me down
to the bottom of the sea for a kiss.
Okay, not Poseidon. This is, after all,
Lake Michigan. Let’s say it would be

Poseidon’s second cousin, twice removed,
Jake, all crystally cold, rising up from the surf
on his frosty steed to whisk me down to his turf
under the lake where everything is made of liquid ice.
We’d have a dance and a feast. He’d treat me nice
and bedeck me in sparkly gems and a diamond diadem.
I’d be his warm-blooded queen of the world beneath the waves;
just what I’ve always wanted to be. Yes! I will go out
to the end of the jetty and be ready when Jake comes for me.

But at the final stretch, even the devil-may-care gal
that is me can see that only a complete fool
would walk out there today. The jetty is slick
as wet glass, and slants toward the frozen cauldron.
One false step, even on the high end, and I could slide
right over the edge into the frigid deep. Forget Jake.
The sign at the point-of-no-return explicitly states:
Strong undertow. If in doubt, don’t go out.
My date with Jake will have to wait.

I will never know if he might really have come
or if I could have at least stood there against the blue
and imagined the gift of his hands warming me through
and through. Some things are better left in the head
than to risk being dead, especially
on such a happy day as this,
a day so blue yet full of bliss,

Lisa Vihos

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