Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Day Before...

From The Desk of Liz Ensley:

The Day Before
by Elizabeth Anne Ensley
[paraphrase of "Twas the Night Before Christmas"
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore]

'Twas the day before Christmas, when all through the flat
every creature was stirring, especially the cat.
The stockings were were tossed in yon wash-basket there,
In hopes that the laundry soon would be bare.

The Terror was off, doing something online,
while visions of Dir en Grey shone in her eye.
And Terror by her 'puter, and I seated by mine,
were wracking out our brains for a long winter's rhyme.

When on the floor above ours there rose such a clatter,
I sprang from my chair to see what was the matter.
Away to the front door I hobbled with my cane,
tore it open wide, and looked out in the rain.

The lamp-shine on the breast of the sodden concrete
The luster of wet rod beneath all the feet,
when, what to my myopic eyes should appear,
but a diminutive sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a wizened old driver, so lively and quick,
I had no doubt that it must be St. Nick.
Faster than a bullet train, the creatures, they came,
and he called out every one of them by name:

"Yo! Dasher! Hey, Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
Yeah, Comet! On, Cupid!
Go, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the flat!
To the top shopping Mall!
Now run away! Hie away!
Dash away all!"

As dandelion seeds that before strong winds fly,
when they meet with a barrier, soar into the sky
The sleigh to the roof-top, the reindeer they flew,
with a whole bunch of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.

And then, in a twinkle, I heard on the next floor
the banging and slamming of their porch door.
When I drew in my head and then turned right around,
St. Nicholas came leaping down with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, much like a Kzin,
Then took a skeleton key and let himself in.
A bundle of gifts he held, strapped to his back,
made him look like a vendor. He opened his pack.

His eyes were in shadows. His dimples, like holes!
His cheeks red as bloodied, his nose like a mole!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the arrow, his beard, was as white as the snow.

A candy cane he held, fastened, with his teeth,
And a garland encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and buttons on his gut,
that danced when he laughed, like a jolly old nut.

He was plump with good cheer, a quite happy old elf,
I his in the kitchen, afraid for myself.
But with a wink, and a nod, and a twist of his head,
Soon let me know I had nothing to dread.

He said nothing at all, going right to his work,
Couldn't find any stockings. He turned with a jerk.
Went out the screen door, behind him it closed
and giving a nod, to the flat above he rose.

I heard his sleigh move, he gave off a whistle,
And away they flew, like a runaway missile.
I heard him exclaim, when they flew away,
"Happy Christmas to you, and to all a good day!"


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