Intercepting the man at the exit doors,
The running guards lunge at his limbs,
And he falls
Face down on the mall’s welcome mat.
They promptly pin his hands behind his back
As I stare, unable to make out why he’s there, or
Why he fights the vice grip around his neck . . .
Just that, as he struggles, my heart sinks, and
I squirm under an unseasonal cloak of shame,
For I haven’t the currency to clear his name.
Others slow and hover nearby,
Quietly babbling verdicts.
They’re so jittery you’d think the threesome had nabbed St. Nick;
But he’d have slapped the spirit back into those pri-pos,
Striking palm to flesh so thunderously that,
In full view of the congregation, they’d weep,
Realizing that in preserving the riches of a few
Their hearts, this season, faced the wrong way.
But how easily a man with shaggy mug and everyman robes
Is taken for a thief, though his earnest mission is
To discover which hearts are smutty and which are sweet.
If they’d only strode further in faith, they might’ve seen
The red wood glittering against the concrete,
Emanating the peace we whisper of in prayer
And seek on bended knees.
Resting with the eight who brought her down the starry runway to Earth,
The bed of worldly wealth, wherefrom St. Nick fishes,
Patiently awaited his return, and their ascent into the seventh day.
Instead the threesome overlooked the sleigh sung of so fondly in youth
As if wilfully blind to the promise of the twelfth night, when
Chimney after chimney, rimmed with drying stockings,
Beg of a saint, just a few blessings.