Twas The Night Before Solstice
Twas the night before solstice and all through the co-op
Not a creature was messing the calm status quo up.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
Dreaming of lentils and warm whole-grain breads.
My lifemate and I, having turned down the heat,
Slipped under the covers for a well-deserved sleep,
When from out on the lawn there came such a roar
I fell from my futon and rolled to the floor.
I crawled to the window and saw there in the night
A sleigh and eight reindeer of nonstandard height.
At the reins of that sleigh sat an *old-fashioned knave
Who treated each deer like his personal slave.
"Now Donder, now Blitzen," and other such aliases,
Showing his true Eurocentrical biases.
With a snap of his fingers, away they all flew,
Like lumberjacks served up a plate of tofu.
Up to the rooftop they carried the sleigh
(The holes in the shingles are there to this day).
After donnning my slippers, downstairs did I dash
To see this trespasser emerge from the ash.
His clothes were all covered with soot, but of course,
From our wood-fueled alternative energy source.
He stood back up dazed, but with mirth in his eyes.
It was then that I noticed his unhealthy size.
He was almost as wide as when standing erect,
A love of fatty fried foods, I suspect.
But that wasn't all to make sane persons choke:
In his teeth sat a pipe that was belching out smoke!
He asked, "Where is your tree?" with a face somewhat long.
I said, "Out in the yard, which is where it belongs."
"But where will I put all the presents I've brought?"
I looked at him squarely and said, "Take the lot
"To some frivolous people who think that they need
"To succumb to the sickness of commerce and greed,
"Whose only job comes from the act of consuming,
"Thus sending the stock of the retailers booming."
"Surely children need something with which to have fun?
"It;s like childhood's over before it's begun."
"They have plenty of fun," I cut to the gist,
"And your mindless distractions have never been missed."
"They take CPR so that they can save lives,
"And go door-to-door for the used clothing drives.
He said, "But they're children--lo, when do they play?"
I countered,"Is that why you've driven your sleigh,
"To bring joy to the heart of each child and tot?
"All right, open your bag; let's see what you've got."
He sheepishly did as I'd asked and behold!
A Malabu Barbie in a skirt of gold.
"You think that my girls will like playing with this,
"An icon of sexist, consumer kitsch?
"With its unnatural figure and air headed grin,
"This trollop makes every girl yearn to be thin."
Deep in his satchel he searched for a toy,
Saying, "This is a hit with most little boys."
And what did he put in my trembling hand
But a gun from the Brain blasters Power Command!
"It's a 'hit' to be sure," I sneered in his face,
"And a plague to infect the whole human race!
I seized on his bag just to see for myself
The filth being spread by this odeious elf.
An Easy-Bake Oven--ah, goodness, what perfidy!
To hoodwink young girls into household captivity!
Plus an archery play-set with shafts that fly out,
The very thing needed to put your eye out.
Plus games like Monopoly, Pay Day, Tycoon,
As if lessons in greed can't start up too soon.
"We need none of this," I announced in a huff,
"No 'business-as-usual' holiday stuff."
The big man's expression was a trifle bereaved
As he shouldered his pack and got ready to leave.
"I pity the kids who grow up around here,
"Who're never pemitted to be of good cheer."
"Enough histrionics! Don't pity out kids
"If they don't do as Macy's or Toys 'R" Us bids."
"Pray could I meet them?" "Oh no, they're not here.
"They're up on the roof , liberating your deer!"
He flew up the chimney like smoke from a fire,
And up on the roof I heard voices get higher.
I ran outside the co-op to see him react
To my children's responsible, kindhearted act.
He chased them away, and disheatened, dismayed,
He rehitched his reindeer (who'd dociley stayed).
But with parting disdain, do you know what he said,
When this overweight huckster took off in his sled?
This reindeer enslaver, this exploiter of elves?
"Happy Christmas to all, but get over yourselves!"