the fallacy of snowmen

They prefer if you don’t arrive the normal entrance,

Where your actions and demeanor may generate anxiety for those

There with simple dislocations and the de riguer colicky infants.

Instead, you are directed to an inconspicuous doorway

Around the back by the dumpsters and empty pallets

And into an unadorned room to fill out the requisite paperwork

(This proves quite difficult because you’re shaking so badly,

Most likely because the room is so cold, or the few chairs ancient and unstable)

Upon receipt of which they allow you

(Although this go-round there’s no inked footprints or photo provided)

To take your baby back home.

As children, we learned those truths we needed to know:

That Mommy and Daddy will sit, smiling as without a care in the world,

At the kitchen table with brother and sis over breakfast forever and ever, amen

That the shiny tree will be always surrounded by angelic dolls and fire engines

(For Santa shall never disappoint any good boy or girl),

That children shall always bury their parents,

Verities further embellished and emphasized

At the feet of claymation and painted-cel wise men

Proffered to us through the good graces of Rankin and Bass,

(On reflection, though, one is un-nerved

By the mechanical movements, the fixed grins of Rudolph and friends,

Looking for all the world like so many cherubic North Korean children

Propped up on display for our consideration,

Or the grinning Santa or Professor Hinkle,

Each alternating between sinister leer and outright mania.)

I now know that the snowman lied, and that when he is removed from refrigeration,

He shall not reappear as the strong, substantial man of snow,

But become merely a puddle, then mist rising from the sidewalk,

As intangible as the ditties a child sings along to jumping double-dutch,

As fleeting as a hug in the darkness

After you’ve chased the monsters from under the bed.


6 thoughts on “the fallacy of snowmen

  1. The fallacies of snowmen and so many other things.
    “That children shall always bury their parents.” and yet, how often do parents bury their children.
    This poem has given me strongly to think. Not a good thing at bedtime.
    But a good poem.

  2. As it dawned on me what this poem was really about, it gave me chills. Wow. I do believe this qualifies as “horror” writing, in the best (and worst) possible way.
    Fine work, man.

  3. Is it wrong, I wonder, the bring children up to expect the best from life, when the worst is a more likely out-come. Is every adult bound to be disheartened by the fall from grace, the cold slap of reality? Your scenario is describe in the most reak terms, and the thought behind the whole is one that captivates, as it disturbs.

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