Dime Store Santa - Poem by David Kowalczyk
As a child, watching things scatter
in the wind tickled my heart.
Bus transfers, Styrofoam cups,
losing lottery tickets...
Today, I find myself in a suburban shopping mall,
disguised by a cotton beard, pillow strapped to
my wasist, and a red polyester suit.
A long line of children about to burst with
secret desires wait to sit on my lap and have
me make their dreams come true.
A demon is strangling my soul.
I am overcome with an obsession
to whisper in the ears of innocence:
'I don't care what you get for Christmas,
you little monster! Like every other phony Santa,
I'm just doing this to pay the rent! There's no
Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny! There's nothing magical
at all in this sick, disgusting world! '
Then I see a child who is my kindergarten picture
come to life. He smiles at me.
A thunderous 'Ho, ho, ho! ' instantly emerges from my throat.
I pat the children on their tender and trusting heads.
In the great dismal slough of my heart,
a faint light flickers.
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