Looking at today's poem, it occurs to me that very few of the works I selected for this year's Advent project are secular in nature. I'm not one of those "War on Christmas" kind of Christians who has an allergic reaction to Santa Claus and magical snowmen and so on, but Christmas is first and foremost for me a religious holiday, so I think it makes sense that I would gravitate toward works with religious themes, even if those themes are treated somewhat irreverently. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a goofy little poem like this one.
The Day After the Day After Boxing Day
On the day after the day after Boxing Day
Santa wakes up, eventually,
puts away his big red suit and wellies,
lets Rudolph and the gang out into the meadow
then shaves his head and beard.
He puts on his new cool sunglasses,
baggy blue Bermuda shorts (he's sick of red),
yellow stripy T-shirt that doesn't quite cover his belly
and lets his toes breathe in flip-flops.
Packing a bucket and spade,
fifteen tubes of Factor Twenty suncream
and seventeen romantic novels
he fills his Walkman with the latest sounds,
is glad to use a proper suitcase instead of the old sack
and heads off into the Mediterranean sunrise
enjoying the comforts of a Boeing 747
(although he passes on the free drinks).
Six months later,
relaxed, red and a little more than stubbly,
he looks at his watch, adjusts his wide-brimmed sunhat,
mops the sweat from his brow and strokes his chin,
wondering why holidays always seem to go so quickly.
Paul Cookson (born 1961)