almost prophetic

jocko creek horses

As I sort through the blue folder of writing I’ve never done anything with, I find poems I almost (but not quite) forgot I wrote. This one, from nearly 30 years ago. It is almost prophetic, as poetry can be when you pay attention.

For My Son, Turning Twelve

You woke at six, wondering
what gifts waited
                              on the trunk
at the foot of our bed.

I could hear you, in and out
                                                 of my sleep,
hoping for quiet until ten to seven
when you knew you could come upstairs
with your brother and sister,
                                                  face alight
as we sang you safely into your birthday.

A new jacket, books, a twenty tucked into a card,
such excitement as you opened each package,
found the small leather box
                                                   containing
two silver coins of Alexander the Great
from a friend over the water.

At twelve, the Boy Kings were married,
                                                                     rode forth
into battle,
their horses splendid, their colours
fluttering
                  in wind
off the mountains where the enemy rode from,
                                                                                     lions
and hooded falcons on a field of watered silk.
You were among them on the white horse,
plumed and glorious.

Today you wore the look of one
at the threshold of a shadowy door,
                                                             ready to enter unsung
regardless of what danger might wait,
what pleasure.

Note: this isn’t quite formatted correctly. Every time I configure it with the lines and spaces as they should be, they somehow default to every line beginning at the left margin. So be it, for now.

4 thoughts on “almost prophetic”

  1. I like your expression “dreaming myself into landscapes.” I do that too – constantly. When I first visited Peterborough, I drove around the surrounding countryside and saw an abandoned farmhouse surrounded by lilacs in bloom. I am sure some vision of living there encouraged me to accept a job in Peterborough, and I did eventually live here in an old house with lilacs.

    1. I’ve done it all my life. I remember as a child on family trips feeling this incredible pull into places we stopped at, or drove past, or ended up staying at for a bit. An abandoned house across St. Mary’s Lake on Salt Spring Island, the bleak buildings where my grandparents first lived in Drumheller…

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