Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Eve in the "Ghetto"

My brother Ben has told his oldest son Aiden (age 5) that I live in the "ghetto". I don't. I live on the edge of the "not-so-nice" neighborhood! Anyway, here is my own version of the classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas", with a couple of extra stanzas added because I am verbose! So, here goes:

Twas the night before Christmas and all through my pad,
my kitties were being, well, quite simply, bad!
The stockings I hung on the wall with such care
are gone, disappeared, to I don't know where.

I had been nestled all snug in my bed,
my hair going which way all over my head.
I was wearing my sweats and my red Christmas socks
and lay there wondering if I'd locked all my locks?

Because out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
I ran to the window, not graceful at all,
and stuck out my hands to break my big fall.

The moon shining down on my grass dead and brown,
"Oh why no snow now?" I thought as I frowned.
And what to my bloodshot eyes did appear,
but a grocery cart pushed by a man drinking beer!

He was old and hunched over, not lively or quick
and I prayed "Oh dear God, don't let him be sick!"
Beside him his dog, quite ugly and brown,
was jumping as the old man yelled "Dammit, git down!"

"Now Bruno? Now Boxer? Now Jimmy? Now Spritzer?
You know damn well who I'm talking to mister!
Git up off the ground and climb up that wall.
And hurry it up 'fore the cops she does call!"

The dry, rustling leaves were swirling around
as that poor dog tried climbing up off the ground.
Up towards the roof, now that was his goal,
and he almost did make it, God bless his poor soul.

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing and barking "Woof woof"!
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
drunk stinky man came tumbling down!

He was dressed in a coat and had two different shoes
and pants with deep pockets to carry his booze.
A bag of old cans he had flung on his back,
and looking at me, he put down his red sack.

His eyes, how they watered, his vision all blurry,
his cheeks were bright red and his speech was all slurry.
His small wrinkled lips were pinched tight and were pursed,
and he picked at his beard as he yelled and he cursed.

The cigarette butt held so tight in his teeth,
the smoke circling 'round his head like a wreath,
his face was quite dirty and his gut stuck way out,
he's not one of my friends, of that there's no doubt!

He was grimy and sweaty, a sticky old elf,
and I shrieked when I saw him in spite of myself.
He was blinking his eyes and turning his head
when I briefly envisioned how I would look dead

here in my humble, lowly abode,
here with my kitties and no one would know!
He still had not spoken much more than a word,
as he sifted through trash and I thought "How absurd!"

This man didn't come here to kill or to maim!
No, not that at all, that wasn't his aim.
But rather to scavenge some drink and some sup
for himself, his imaginary friends and his pup!

And as he tripped and fell flat on his face,
and before I did comment on his lack of grace,
it dawned on me that we were one in the same,
and that three years ago, that too was my game!

I was once dirty and stinky and messy,
and drunk and slobbering, to that I'm confessing.
So I say "Thank you" to God for bringing that elf
and for reminding me that, all by myself,

I am just as lost as that little old man,
and despite his appearance, he is part of God's plan!
So I grabbed him a blanket and covered him up,
and at the foot of my bed made room for his pup!

Merry Christmas friends, family, brothers and sisters...

Kris(ten) Kringle