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Genesis

By Charlie Haeffner

On the night before Christmas
I started to grouse
The furnace was dead;
it was cold in the house.

Space heaters employed
Took the chill down a notch.
And I added some clothing,
Warmed stomach with scotch.

As the night chill descended
I heard such a clatter
up on my slate roof.
I went out, found my ladder.

I climbed in the cold
and the wind and some snow.
And reached the roof’s edge
Took a look and said “No!”

For there on the peak
sat a sleigh, engine running.
No reindeer, but Santa,
Eyes twinkling, all cunning.

He looked at me, smiled,
Nudged nose with a finger
In an instant gone by,
Disappeared, didn’t linger.

His sleigh remained standing
Exhaust swirling ’bout it.
I waited, befuddled
My eyesight I doubted.

Ere long, he was back,
Looked my way, he was smiling.
He climbed in his sleigh,
Gave a soft laugh, beguiling.

“Now, Charles,” he said,
When his mirth had receded,
“I’ve brought you some presents
I think you have needed.

“I’ve brought to you heat
that will keep your blood warm.
I have brought for you peace
To withstand any storm.

“I have brought to you love
For your fellows on Earth,
So you might co-exist
Not in fear, but with worth.

“And with great equanimity,
Investing your soul
In a project much wanted:
To write is your role.”

And he nodded again,
Said “To you a good night,”
Revved his engine, took off
And was soon out of sight.

I descended the ladder,
re-entered my house,
And noticed the warmth ...
And soon spotted a mouse.

“You’re stirring,” I said.
“Yes, I am,” he responded.
“As long as you’re up,”
I replied, feeling bonded,

“You want some nice milk?”
I inquired. He smiled,
His teeth pearly white
And his temperament mild.

“I’d like that,” he said.
“If it’s not too much trouble.”
“No trouble,” I answered.
“I’ll give you a double.”

I poured him some milk
Gave myself an eggnog,
And sat down to discuss
The evening’s rare log.

We talked for an hour
Before fatigue beckoned.
He bid me goodnight, said
“It’s sleep time, I reckon.”

I stayed up a bit longer,
With planning to do,
For Santa’s gifts echoed.
Some words would ensue.

My role was to write them
I knew in what style.
My goal: to produce
The Odessa File.

That Christmas stays with me
These many years gone,
The mouse still my friend,
We oft talk until dawn.

I begrudge not a bit
Not with any conviction.
I love what I do
Writing facts and not fiction.

And sometimes I turn
To the north, where lives Santa
And repeat these few words
That I treat as my mantra.

Though the sleigh is self-powered,
Though no reindeer take flight,
Santa lives. Merry Christmas.
And to all, a good night.

 

 

 

© The Odessa File 2016
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

E-mail publisher@odessafile.com