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A Winter Southbound

The fallen leaves scattered across the tracks,
Southbound 53 would push these farther on.
A love that was empty as Ashland’s winter trees—
A hard weight was lifted now that she’d gone.

No tears, but also no joy, would be found here.
Yes, may the very best find its way over to her;
And should any good be left over hanging out
Perhaps might could entertain here along with Jack’s purr.

Santy Claus is due to arrive in a few days
And we’ve all tried to be and to do our best;
But sometimes it’s never close to good enough
And you cancel flights along with all the rest.

Maybe in the new year happiness real will come
And everyone can breathe and let it all just be;
Festivals and dances return for our lives renewed
And I can get back to that crescent bend in the Mississippi.

The southbound blew its horn passing thru Ashland town
And the online chatroom railfans counted up all the cars.
The empty trees shimmied in the rolling winter wind;
The resettled leaves looked up and counted up all the stars.

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St. Nicholas Tracking

The spry old gentleman returned from the house
All was quiet, as still as that storied old grey mouse
He retrieved a gift that he’d almost forgotten
A GPS to distinguish between New Haarlem and New Groton
Seems his wry memory had been always quite dandy
But an electronic aid sure would’ve been handy
Like when he overshot the turn to land in New South Wales
[And his antlered friends had hid their red faces in their tales]
But the handheld device now could lead him onto Timbuctoo
[Even if the big-headed red-nosed one was so positive what to do]
But this year was different and that’s only because
The old one at last heeded the words of Mrs. Claus:
“You can’t always be sure whether to go left or the right.
Please, Dear, use that GPS gizmo on this snowy winter night.”
So, the old gent climbed aboard his magnificent old Nordic sled
And bellowing aloud, this is something like what he said:
“On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
We got hot cocoa made by Mama awaitin’ in the kitchen!”

O Yule Of Little Faith

Been here for hours and hours
Think I’m turning blue!
But I gotta see! I gotta know!
I just know that it’s true!

Staring at the fireplace,
Looking for any sign,
It’s late late late Christmas Eve,
But Daddy says it’s fine.

Even if I wait all night
For hooves on our roof
But that won’t be even enough
I’ll need some real proof!

Sandman do your worst,
But *yawn* you won’ get me,
As I gaze at all the pretty lights
A-twinkling on our tree.

Wait! What was that?!
Something by the chimney?
Aww, it’s just that old fat Tom Cat
Playing with tinsel on a whimsy.

But *yawn* I feel so very warm.
*Yawn* but can’t go to…bed.
*Yawn* Sally Jane says he’s not real,
That, it’s all made up…in my…head….

Father smiled and picked up his Little Lilly
To take her at last to her own warm bed,
Missing some soot that trickled down,
When a jolly old man finally leapt off his sled.

–reprised from last year:
Merry Christmas!