I wrote this poem in 2007 for a contest. It won third place. Since I have a captive audience this Christmas Eve, I thought I’d share it. Have a wonderful day today even if you don’t celebrate the holiday.
Tony Ferrini worked nights in the store
As Santa Claus, listening to children galore.
Wanting Barbies and Batmans, Xboxes and Wiis
With never a “Thank you” and rarely a “Please”.
They’d sit and they’d whine and they screamed in his ear
Until just an hour seemed to last for a year.
“If this is what Christmas is,” he thought, “Forget it.
I’m not going to celebrate, and I don’t regret it.”
But he needed the money, so he kept sitting there,
Hating greed, hating Christmas, the whole sordid affair.
Until that Christmas Eve, at six-forty-nine,
A different young child stood waiting in line.
His clothes were all worn and his arms were quite thin,
And when he climbed up, he didn’t kick Tony’s shin.
He said, “Santa, for Christmas, there’s just one thing I’d like.”
“A toy?” Tony said. “A new game, or a bike?”
The boy shook his head. “It isn’t for me.”
“What then?” Tony asked. The boy said, “You see,
My sister’s quite ill, so please bring her a toy.
That’s all I’m asking to give me some joy.”
“What’s your name?” Tony asked, moved. The child said, “Nick.
Please bring Sue a present, Santa, please do it quick.
She’s in St. Agnes’ Hospital, Room Two-thirty-four.
Thank you.” Then he dashed away, straight out the door.
Tony got through his shift, then bought lots of toys
Wanting now to bring presents for each sick girl and boy.
He found Susie’s room, where she lay very weak.
But when she saw Santa, a rose bloomed in her cheek.
“Thank you!” she cried, as she took her new doll.
“Do my friends get toys, too? That’s the best news of all.”
“Of course,” Tony said, smiling. “That’s why I’m here.
Your brother asked me to bring you some good cheer.”
“I don’t have a brother,” she replied. Tony stared.
For this piece of news he was quite unprepared.
Then a voice in his ear said, “Forgive my small trick.
Merry Christmas, dear Tony, from your good friend St. Nick.”