Friday, April 12, 2013

The Faith of a Child

On the Christmas Eve when I was seven,
after the excitement had faded
into murmured breaths and
turn-tossed tangles of blankets and legs,
I awoke and remembered in a moment
of chest-squeezing panic
that I had neglected to ask Santa for
a pad of paper and colored pencils.
It was a by-the-way request
I had intended to include
along with the toys on my list.
But instead, it fell by the wayside.
Desired, but not so intensely that it stayed put
in my young mind when I was
confronted with the task of
reciting my hopes and dreams
to the white-bearded man at the mall,
who I knew to have the power to make me happy.

A pad of paper and colored pencils.
Simple, to be sure. No big deal, really.
An easy gift for Santa to come by.
So I did what any other church-going
seven-year old with a very basic
understanding of making requests
to powerful beings would do.
I prayed to Santa to bring me
A pad of paper and colored pencils.
Satisfied, I rolled over with a bit of covers
clutched in my hand, which my sister
promptly yanked back into its proper place,
never quickening her steady breaths,
and I went back to sleep, so sure my
prayer to Santa would be answered
with a pad of paper and colored pencils
poking out of the top of my stocking
come waking time.

I smile now at my childhood simplicity.

But still, I pray.
And that pad of paper and colored pencils
remain elusive as they were that
decades-ago Christmas morn.

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