Let’s Talk Poetry: Christmas Cheer

December 22, 2013

Neil Carpathios

Contributing Columnist

Christmas is almost here. This time of year is for all of us, but especially, I think, for children. Remember what it was like when we were little? Isn’t it about time we let our inner child out to play? Today I serve up two poetry presents, by poet Kenn Nesbitt, that hopefully will put a smile on your face with a little Christmas cheer and childlike whimsy:

December Substitute

Our substitute is strange because

he looks a lot like Santa Claus.

In fact, the moment he walked in

we thought that he was Santa’s twin.

We wouldn’t think it quite so weird,

if it were just his snowy beard.

But also he has big black boots

and wears these fuzzy bright suits.

He’s got a rather rounded gut

that’s like a bowl of you-know-what.

And when he laughs, it’s deep and low

and sounds a lot like “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

He asks us all if we’ve been good

and sleeping when we know we should.

He talks of reindeers, sleighs, and elves

and tells us to behave ourselves.

And when it’s time for us to go

he dashes out into the snow.

But yesterday we figured out

just what our sub is all about.

We know just why he leaves so quick,

and why he’s dressed like Old Saint Nick

in hat and coat and boots and all:

He’s working evenings at the mall.

December 26

A BB gun.

A model plane.

A basketball.

A ’lectric train.

A bicycle.

A cowboy hat.

A comic book.

A baseball bat.

A deck of cards.

A science kit.

A racing car.

A catcher’s mitt.

So that’s my list

of everything

that Santa Claus

forgot to bring.

Address poem submissions and correspondence to: ncarpathios@shawnee.edu or Neil Carpathios, Shawnee State University, Dept. of English & Humanities, 940 Second Street, Portsmouth, OH 45662. (740-351-3478).