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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ode to Christmas on a Boat
‘Twas two days from X-mas, the 23rd of December
Forecast a green Yuletide, first I could remember
The ice it had melted, the snow it was gone
The grass it was green, under the sun as it shone

Then all of a sudden, from out of the south
The wind it starts blowin’, and rockin’ me ‘bout
The boat she's a-bangin’ up against the dock
The geese they were a-honkin’, not quite ready to flock
The ducks were a-quackin’, the crows all a-caw
The birds all a-movin’ off the pier’s all I saw

Then off in the distance, high over the spit
Was this sleigh I see flying, was I having a fit
No it’s true what I saw, I tell you no lie
Through the smoke of my barbee, eight, not nine reindeer did fly

They circled around, high above the boats
And landed on the water, the sled was on floats
The deer they were splashing, all flailing around
To the boat ramp they swam, and found solid ground

The fat dude at the helm was soaked to the skin
The white fur of his coat, all matted and grim
He stumbled from his sleigh, tripped off the port float
And removed his sodden dripping, red great fur coat

Into the back of the sled the coat he did heave
It was empty of course, this not being Christmas Eve

T’wards my dock he does walk, at an awkward lopy pace
Until he’s right there, right there in my face

He looks me in the eye, then spits on the ground
Says, “You’ve been a bad boy, Word’s getting’ around!”
Well what can I say? Do I have a defense?
This here’s the Big Guy, lying to him just don’t make much sense!

So I shrug my shoulders, I stare at my boot
And plead for forgiveness instead of some loot
“Well I’ll ponder it” he says, “I can’t promise a lot
“What I need right now’s my pipe and a shot”

So I take him below, and pour him a drink
He crashes down on my bunk; I and I start to think
Why’s he here? What’s he doin’? What’s the story? What’s the scoop?
Is he lost? Is he travelling? The question’s just moot

I stare at his face and he stares at mine
After we finish the cognac we break open the wine
We toss back some red, get carrots for the deer
Crack open the white, then start on the beer

I light my pipe and then he lights his
The cabin fills with smoke, my mind’s just a fizz
The he reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a pouch
Flicks silvery dust in my eyes, my mind it screams “OUCH”

All of a sudden I’m sober, vision clear, mind unscathed
Brain full of wonder, Oh what a rage!
For the first time he smiles, can’t help but smile back
His eyes still piercing, stare sharp as a tack

“So you think you’re worth forgiving?” He asks with a jeer
“You think I should forget about you dining on deer?
“That was venison I smelt as I flew over your pier!”

Well what could I say? What could I do?
It tasted so good, did HE want some too?
But I held my peace, I bridled my tongue
I begged for forgiveness and pleaded long

“Well” he said, “I’ll overlook it this time”
“But watch where you’re shooting, don’t get out of line
“And two days from now, when you’re snug in your berth
“The loot that I leave you will reflect what you’re worth”

And with that he left, walked back to his team
Pulled on his coat as I stared all a-dream
He took to the sky, yelled “Tally-ho”
And as he vanished from my view, it started to snow.

Neil Thomasson

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