Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Never having learned to swim myself,
I stood, feet planted firmly in water not quite to my chest,
coaxing him to kick and flail his way to me,
I moved one step back with each attempt.
I had to fight to keep from reaching out to him,
to let him reach for me instead.
He trusted me.

Just as he trusted me when
we stepped into that strange little world called a Hobby Shop,
and the planes and ships and trains dazzled him,
not knowing what to make of it all.
“Why are they here? Are they for sale?”
I muttered something about Santa Claus and his toyshop.
For a moment he looked at me puzzled,
then said, “That’s not for real.”
“Well, it is, kind of,” I said,
and fumbled to explain,
without betraying what his father taught him.
But thankfully his eyes spotted a train traversing a tiny village.
and he dropped the subject.
He didn’t ask if he could have one.
He didn’t object when it was time to leave.
He trusted me then, too.

A week later, when the same train appeared under his tree,
I wondered, as his face lit up,
if it made him think about what was real and what was not,
He shouted, “That’s the one from the Hobby Shop!”
He didn’t mention Santa Claus,
He didn’t try to explain it,
anymore than he’d tried last summer to explain
how he walked on water.
He only knew I was there.
He trusted me.

(Nick’s KK, Christmas 09)

Carmen Leone
© 2009-the present

Image links to its source on Wiki Commons:

"Photograph of Steve and Susan Ford (children of Gerald and Betty Ford) Playing with an Electric Train at the Ford Residence in Alexandria, Virginia" 

per Wiki Commons:
This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code. See Copyright. 

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