A Wolf in Red Clothing

Tonight's a night for things gone wrong,
back doors left unlocked in stark defiance of
your mother's trembling concerns. I move
from house to house. The only ones awake
will be the ones who really shouldn't be.
A little boy or girl peeking out
an upstairs window as a bearded, jolly man
scales garden fences and tries doorknobs.
One or two might tell their friends
that Santa doesn't use chimneys.
That's just what they tell dumb kids. The
man's not magic after all, 'cause magic
isn't real. I learned that myself
at their age, wishing to God and Santa that
since I've been good, they'd make dad stop...
Success. The French door swings open. I hear
a loud and nasal snore run in. I freeze,
but all is well. Granddad's asleep.
Electric fire breathes. Ceramic Santa blinks
and little gems adorn a tree with light.
I reach inside my big red suit, pull out
a plastic bag, imagine Billy running down
to grab his first present, and finding this,
awaiting opening in his check cardigan.
The pigs'll call it just old age.
But Billy'll always wonder if, somewhere,
an austere, old St Nick found him wanting...
Granddad dealt with, I help myself to what
seems worth a bob. And, of course,
a mince pie for the road. I drink their milk.
Written by Casted_Runes (Mr Karswell)
Published | Edited 20th Dec 2022
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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