Santa’s Dead

better than red

Twas the night
before you know when
and all through the house
not a creature was stirring
except at jobs underpaid
or chasing hungry a mouse.
Children traumatised
would normally be seen
were away with their smartphones
not television screens.
A tree in the parlour
(once was so-called)
burned like Pearl Harbor
or like steel towers fall.
Below the small chimney
electric logs flickered
a red coat or red nose
losing blood trickled
Outside in the snow
or maybe it was sand
fantasies froze (or boiled)
who knows while Georgia’s juice
the world over renowned
now its best fighter lost
to blowback was found.

Millions of letters
billions of wishes
that night in the chimney
were reduced to ashes

Twas the night thereafter
in the situation room so late
contemplated juicemakers
how to retaliate?
That fat white invention
with paramilitary sled
helped prove Georgia juice
the sweetest intention
and led to killing this Red
or a seasonal intervention?
Was this a threat
to national security?
Had Santa been in debt?
Was it just usury?
A map of the world
with targets was seized
Generals and reindeer
gave orders or sneezed.
Then a voice from behind
commanded attention
“It must be the Russians
or Chinese to blame.
But to plutonium atoms
they look all the same!”

Dr T.P. Wilkinson writes, teaches History and English, directs theatre and coaches cricket between the cradles of Heine and Saramago. He is also the author of Church Clothes, Land, Mission and the End of Apartheid in South Africa. Read other articles by T.P..