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Loud and Clear – December 2019

The Stranger That Came Down The Chimney

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and the snow had settled in Vestor;

An often-overlooked village where Timmy’s restlessness festers.

Through a frosted window, the boy observes a shape, expanding:

A sleigh bouncing in the twilight air, as it prepares for landing.

 

The roof shakes, guiding a jingle through trinkets on the Christmas tree,

Powdered snow and ash crash, cautiously, through a stocking-rich chimney.

In their wake, a round shape emerges from the embers of the fireplace;

A legendary silhouette, somewhat less familiar in fashion and face.

 

This figure had donned a coat with the hues of an ancient cornfield,

Strands of cardinal were marginal; behind beige, they were concealed.

“Yo, ho, oh,” the elliptical proclaimed through a leaden, grey beard.

“It shall be a very merry Christmas, now that I have appeared”.

 

“Excuse me, kind stranger. I did, at first, think you another:

I presumed Father Christmas, but now feel I should get my mother!

You are close, but your “Yo’s” and your “Oh’s” are misplaced in your prose,

And my woes are imposed, threefold, by those juxtaposed clothes you chose.”

 

“Ho, oh, no! This is my big night; I knew something didn’t feel right.

My exhortations are abandoned and random; they don’t excite!

My Christmas crimson is washed out, and my bushy beard has lost its frost,

Oh, sweet Timmy, I beg for your help, this night, whatever the cost!”

 

“Of course, I will help you, Mr Claus, because Christmas is at stake!

Your answer lies outdoors, within the withdrawn thaw of a snowflake.”

He opens a window, and snaps up as much snow as he can hold,

And swiftly hurls it at Santa’s beard, who howls “Ho, ho, ho, that’s cold!”

 

“I must say, a face full of ice sure did give me a mighty fright!

But a beard of white is worth the price; my delight bests the frostbite.

Yet, still I do not feel completely Christmassy, you understand,

For my coat bears not the colours of that classic cola brand.”

 

“The red has fled from your threads; but you can put your worries to bed.

We’ll just use a certain seasonal sauce and spread the red instead.

Until your ensemble resembles the nose of my favourite reindeer.

We’ll need lots of sauce; it seems the turkey will go without, this year”.

 

So, out of the kitchen cupboard came jars and jars of cranberry,

They emptied them all over Santa, and he indeed looked merry!

Timmy stood back in awe at what he saw, and now he could be sure;

The stranger standing in his living room was Santa Claus, once more!

 

A spectacle of white and red, he bellowed a big “Ho, ho, ho!”,

“What a gift you have given me; that’s meant to be my job, you know?

I am ole Saint Nick in the nick of time, but now I must take flight,

To show my gratitude, will you join me upon my sleigh, this night?”

 

Timmy jumped with giddy excitement, cheering “I’d love nothing more,”

And so, they flew all around the world, spreading joy and glee, galore!

Through tired eyes, a boy and a girl gazed blissfully through their bedroom window,

Smiling at the sight of the man they undeniably did know.

DANIEL DAINES


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