At Christmastime
my playmates would
concoct elaborate plans
to catch old St. Nick
in the act, and bust
that jolly man.

Not so with me,
tucked deep in bed,
far from that giving gent,
afraid to stumble in
to certainty
on accident.

Once in Scotland
the tourists stood
knee-deep in fabled Loch,
their binoculars fixed
with narrowed gaze
upon a rippling spot.

Not so with me,
who turned my back,
to secrets held within,
who stood on shore and
watched the birds ride
free upon the wind.

In days of youth,
my peers would scoff
at candy Valentines.
At promises and
romantic pleas, they’d
draw a stoic line.

Not so with me,
who spread my arms
to catch each poem sweet
that honey-dripped from
lovers’ tongues and made
my own complete.

Today I bent
my doubting knees
and asked them for a sign.
Will they answer me –
my patron saints –
Nick, Nessie, and Valentine?

Not so with me,
does doubting come
as a reasoned mind’s relief.
It comes with fear
of what draws near,
even if it’s peace.

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