Poets’ Corner: A Xmas Kiss

Poets’ Corner: A Xmas Kiss

“How does the ordinary person come to an experience of the transcendent? For a start, I would say, study poetry. Learn how to read a poem. You need not have the experience to get the message, or at least some indication of the message. It may come gradually,” Joseph Campbell,  from “Thou Art That.”

One of our family of extraordinary poets, Kierstin Bridger proves once again she is nothing if not unconventional – even when it comes to gifts. 

Kierstin’s first real kiss – emphasis on “real,” as in because she meant to, not because of a dare by other kids or to defy her parents – happened around Christmas. Around now. And the memory of that moment is now something precious and sweet she shares with the love of her life, carefully unwrapping each moment leading to The Big Event on a lift they share on a beautiful snowy morning in Telluride.



After The Darkest Night


We click into to our skis,

ride the long lift on a snowy morning.

You tell me Amy was your first kiss,

girls made you sweat, you said,

so you popped your knuckles,

avoided her eyes.

She offered you waxy lip balm

and made the first move,

while you regarded her chipped nails

sliding across your ripped jeans

a salty runnel bumped down your ribs.


After the whiteout we return

to our chairlift conversation.

I can’t remember mine, I say,

not the firsts of kiss-chase,

seized by six-year-old hoods

on the dirt playground,

marched behind the fence,

but the movie style swoon

which should be lodged in my head.

Why can’t I pinpoint the day,

the boy, the spot.


I can only remember,

being egged on by a friend

in the December dark—

the side of my house

illuminated by holiday light,

the cool talk numbed by Big Red,

a woodstove spiced jean jacket,

hands in his pocket—


Maybe it was just an embrace,

obscured faces,

his mug dragged into my Aqua Net,

my eyes on Orion’s belt,

just past the mountain—

the diadem of horizon.

Opposing futures,

thirteen and trembling,

afraid to reveal ourselves

under a jewel case sky.



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