Santa -- poetry by Isabella Dunsby
ever since I could count the coins
in my father’s pockets
ever since I could hear the creak
of my father’s footsteps
and feel the creases of his mouth widen into a smile as he hangs
a stocking on my doorknob
from the way he pauses
three steps at a time
the way he breathes, heavy
out of his mouth
i’ve known it’s not Santa for a long while.
when we wake, he asks us if we'd heard the reindeer hooves on the roof we say yes every time.
he asks us
how d’you reckon Santa reached all those little boys and girls?
we shake our heads in disbelief.
it’s less about the North Pole
and more about campuses that stretch across
The East Coast.
it’s fewer letters to the Tooth Fairy
and more to us, three thousand miles away
with every frown
every thoughtful fold of his forehead,
he runs his fingers across his withered chin,
tugging on the wrinkled skin
that sags off his neck.
I see Santa, tired and
longing for our love,
for the coins in his pockets to be enough
I don’t believe in Santa anymore
but for my father, I will.
Isabella Dunsby is a sophomore attending an international school in Seoul, South Korea. She loves poetry, jazz music, and going on long walks with her puppy, Lily. She has just recently embarked on a journey into the literary world and is excited to see where it takes her in the future.