The smile for you, my child.
We were outside building a man.
A man of snowfall, a man of weather, he was real and not real,
unable to be predicted with Doppler and Skyfall 2000 and sonogram.
We rolled the snow to make a jolly body
to the soundtrack of your cascade of laughter.
And as we did, a couple walked by,
she said “hello,” like her joy was blowing bubbles.
They were happy, my child, dressed in colors of earth and sky.
And I saw myself with a man not your father, they were holding hands, sweetheart,
thick as thieves, they didn’t wear lies on their faces
or tucked in their limbs like tumors.
Your mother and father, we who made you from unstable weather,
you the only child of two lost parents,
we hoard untruths, rolling dirt and urban excess
into the budding snowman, though he looks so pure with bridal white sheen
and shower. You are so little, Miri, white and unharmed by the world,
like this snowman.
I saw myself with another man, we hold hands, and we want to.
But sometimes the lies make us whole, make us who we are, rummaging
in the soil for sticks and stones for arms and eyes.
Somewhere we are carpenters.
Sometimes you are my snowchild, Miri, crafting you out of luck,
whatever scraps we find in the stuck soil.
I want you to see me hold a man’s hand,
I want you to see an accurate smile on my face in a grown-up home.
Snow melts, faces change like weather.
I want you to see one more version of who I am,
my hand tucked where I want it,
into somewhere warm and unpredictable,
another man’s hand.
• • •