THE WHOLE SANTA THING

Whatever the origins

be they Odin or St. Nick

Coca-Cola or Mattel

Whatever the impetus

that spawned this

winter window of magic

this consensual phantasm

of red & green & turkey

firs eggnog & fires

when neighbors go a little nuts

& streets are lit by fairy dust

& grownups take occasion

to be jolly

Red-nosed children

jump out of their skins

because some fat elf

rides the night

spews his bounty

& gives them

the one dream they

can wake up to not from

Keep your disclaimers

Hold the humbug

My joy doesn’t depend

on consensus

or the happiness

of everyone

& beautiful songs

remain beautiful

because they are

so longing to be true

For me the impulse to give

whatever we wrap it in

is gift enough

& I remain that boy

who on the brink of sleep

could have sworn

he heard hooves on the roof

who wanted to believe

in such a world

where a total stranger

knows what you need most

& gives it to you

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