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A Waupaca Snowday

Yes, she’s a pretty redhead.
No I don’t know her name.
Ask her out? Nah,
It always ends the same—
I don’t get her,
She doesn’t cotton to me.
It’s been like that
From the dawn of eternity.
Bring her home for Thanksgiving?
I believe that’s a bit too soon.
With all that six-foot social distancing
Might as well be on the dark side of the Moon.
I heard from Waupaca,
It’s gonna snow all day,
But the trains keep a-runnin’
On that Canadien North railway.
There’s Loo and her mighty kid,
Out chasing the Loco Progressive!
I tell ya these holidays alone
Are getting a mite depressive.
I think I’ll trip over to the Twilight Zone
And look into Mr. Nelson’s Game.
Ask her out? Nah,
It always ends the same.


A Gifting

A breeze freshened, then turned cold,
Another old story now to be retold:
Of seasonal wishes and hopes reborn,
Chances taken even if burnished by scorn.
Crossing the tracks, he walked into Tiny Tim’s store
Sunlight followed him in just like the weeks before
The shopkeeper smiled to see the young man arrive
Another payment to place, was it number four or five?
Four payments left and then soon Christmas comes,
That time of roasted chestnuts and puddings with plums.
Back to Cross Grocery and shelves to stack and refill
Earning his money for rent, food, and that toy store bill.
Twas a sudden quirk storm that roared into town:
Rain, billowing snow, then sleet rocketed down.
An SUV late for choir practice risked running the ringing gate,
But the Autotrain was faster, STOP!
…but, too late.
The clerk flew across the tracks to help if he could;
He pulled out the shopkeeper, nice old Josiah Wood,
And a couple of customers getting their purchases done;
Then, stayed with that car driver, trapped and sore alone.
Car and train had finished their dance at the toy store back door;
All happily survived, but that prepaid toy was of course no more.
Christmas Eve, and the clerk had just walked back home
To start his Ursa chili with his Woolworth’s pots of chrome.
A knock on the door, and oh my goodness, there on his stoop stood
That railroad councilwoman, and on crutches, Mister Josiah Wood!
Beckoning them to come in and get out of the cold,
Our clerk blushed in worry about what could be told.
Mister Wood then handed our clerk a box as he brushed away a tear:
The Lionel Train Set the clerk had been paying for over the past half year.
Pop-eyed, our clerk struggled to make good on giving proper appreciation,
The councilwoman said it’s they who wished to reward his aid and application.
The clerk still said thank you, for this most important gift, was meant for another—
A gentleman at the Ashland Nursing Home, a railroad friend of his departed mother.
The wind slowed to a pause for this, a new holiday silent night.
Twinkling merrily did the Christmas lights make for a sweet sight.
And, for our good neighbors who may forget old holiday rhymes,
It’s nice to remember: “For it is good to be children sometimes.”

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!”

And On The Thirteenth Day…

The snow had sloughed off from the roof
To pile up beneath her window
Season’s Greetings, and all the rest—
[Even Poet knows not how this’ll all go]

Lost in thought, she looked up,
The new book had washed of distraction,
But seeing the snow inviting her so—
Tobogganing looked like the next attraction

With hooded coat, and all scarfed up,
Melissa dragged out her new sled.
Trudging over to Dead Man’s Hill
She intended to be a blaze of red

From top’o the hill, she surveyed the scene:
She readied for a sure mighty shove;
When grasping her ear, a plaintive cry
Came from the pine tree branching above

Melissa scanned, and looked and looked,
But couldn’t locate the sad wee voice.
So, grabbing a branch, up she went.
[Later, she’d claim she’d no choice!]

Up two and then four and at last ten,
Melissa topped the old pine tree.
There, clinging to a branch, and shivering so much,
Was such a sight our young girl did see

Embracing the trembling bundle,
She slowly made her way down;
Down too steep Dead Man’s Hill
And all the cold way back to town

In her house: “MOM! Come see!”
The child’s sharp clarion call so rang.
Run came Mother, and also Dad
With her two sisters, the rest’o the inside gang

There, in the hamper of knitting yarn:
Shaking between bolts of tan and blue;
A wee calico kitten, slick from snow
Looked up as if to inquire: ‘what’d I do?’

Getting a towel from hallway closet,
Mom burnished the furry ball ‘til dry.
Dad held Melissa and the other two girls
And, of course, they all began to cry

But Mother was sharp, and off she went
With the little furball to the breakfast nook—
And opened up a can of evaporated milk;
Presenting the saucer was all it took

“I guess we can keep her,” Dad opined,
And those sobs turned into peals of joy.
Twas the day after Christmas, so you’ll know,
That the kitten was the bestest ever “toy”

What to name her, was the last task,
To end this story they’d forever so tell.
Well, the choice was obvious, I rather thought:
I’d like you to meet our new cat, NOEL.