Poets’ Corner: Feela for Xmas

Poets’ Corner: Feela for Xmas

Buried in the back of our closets alongside the battered tinsel star, the good silver, and great grandma’s dishes lie reminders of the holidays –  for better or for worse. Those memories of Xmases past are as persistent as Santa myths– and as unavoidable as carols, “It’s A Wonderful Life” and telemarketers. One of our favorite writer-poets and regular contributor to Telluride Inside… and Out, David Feela, pulled this one out of a box. His words are a perfect gift for the season given the gift of snow Telluride is receiving from El Nino.


                                                                                     Coming Down

                                                                                      Climbing to the top

                                                                                     of the hill befalls the

                                                                                   difficult part: the boots,

                                                                                         already clumsy,

                                                                                     sink into the snow

                                                                                   and each step forward

                                                           must double as a step toward facing your racing heart

                                                     a quickness inside you, an inclination that demands you sit down.

                    Here’s the sensible part of your maturing spirit, the one that brews a pot of tea

                     and steeps the afternoon until the light turns muddy, not the one revisiting this

                                                            childish slope where you only remember the rush

                                                     of sliding down.  This going up never felt part of the ritual:

                                                          You were born on top, leaning over the edge, hardly

                                                                    taking time to situate yourself on the slick

                                                                         sheet of cardboard before giving in

                                                                              to the sensation of falling,

                                                                                   of feeling the world

                                                                               crush past you in a blur.

                                                                      At the bottom, your face frozen

                                                        in an expression of pure ecstasy and terror,

                                                    you stared straight into the sky’s unblinking eye,

                                                   laid out flat on the snow, arms and legs spread wide

                                                as if trying to steady yourself while the earth still whirled,

                                                                the whole of your little life committed,


                                                                        to the memory of coming down.

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