Poetry from Thailand

Original poetry written in and about rural Thailand.

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Location: Chong Khae, Nakhonsawan, Thailand

Friday, December 5, 2014


Just before Christmas, my mother
gathered me up on her lap and,
barely rocking in the cane-bottomed
chair next to our tree, told me in
a quiet voice that Santa Claus was
not real.

Her hold on me was smothering, and
I realize now that this was a rite of passage,
not for me, but for her.  I was her youngest
and she wanted to hold me one last time
before releasing me into . . . well, the
world without Santa Claus, I guess.

I got outside as soon as I could.
The winter sky was turning dark.
People were already talking about
an open winter.  It was cold, almost
too cold to snow yet it was spitting
flakes.  I looked closely at one that
had landed on the back of my black,
vinyl mitten.  Then I opened my mouth,
threw my head back and tried to
eat the falling snow.

FG  12/4/2014

To live in a garden by a flowing stream is a metaphor for heaven that runs through the Koran.  No one, it seems to me, who has lived through a New Hampshire winter would have ever come up with that.  I’ve lived in lands without Santa or snow for over twenty years now, and what I miss most is the snow, the snow that smothers the barren land.


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