redneck christmas

a poem by Debora Dyess

As I watched the cartoon with the Grinch and Max
I felt every one of my muscles go lax.
Sitting on the couch on Christmas Eve
After I’d asked all our house guests to leave.

Drifting in and out of my dreams,
Thinking on Christmas hopes and schemes
I started as I heard a super loud boom
Come from the far end of the living room.

I stood and rubbed my eyes as the Grinch
And Max fell off a cliff, and I flinched.
I rounded the corner out of the den
And stopped there, astonished at what had come in.

An old man, red long-johns and black shiny boots,
A great big beer belly all covered in soot.
“Were you in my chimney?” I asked, eyebrows raised.
“Why yes, son, I was,” he replied, somewhat dazed.

“This house wasn’t even on my list.
What is your name? I guess that I missed
You and your missus as I started my rounds.
It’s a miracle that your trailer even was found.

“You can thank old Donder for that.
He’s a good tracker, though sometimes a brat.”
Then the old man commenced to open a sack
Sat himself down and pulled out his crap!

“You’re not living here!” I told the old feller.
“There’s room for you down at the shelter.
“I’ll drive you there myself, if you’d like.
It’s the least I can do on Christmas Eve night.”

The old man said, “Ho-ho! You don’t understand!”
But I cut him off as I took his hand.
“It’s alright; my pa’s got Alzheimer’s, too.
I know it’s tough, but we’ll get you through.”

I gathered his goodies and put them all in
To the sack as he picked it up once again.
He looked somewhat confused, I steered him to the door,
But he tried to go back to the chimney once more.

“My ride is up there,” he said with a nod.
I felt sorry for him, said, “You talking ‘bout God?”
I took him more firmly by his old, flabby arm,
Intending to keep this poor gent from harm.

“I must get back to my sleigh!” the stranger hollered.
He looked panicked, knowing he had been collared.
I guess that must be when both tempers rose,
Cause that old man punched me right in the nose!

I stumbled backwards, grabbing my face
And the old man ran to get out of my place.
I caught my toe on the edge of the couch,
Bumped my head on the floor and then I was out!

I awoke to find an empty, cold room
Where the fireplace was out. In dark midnight gloom
I looked for the old man; he wasn’t around.
But you won’t believe the thing that I found!

It was a note, tied to my tree,
Signed by Santa, addressed to me.
It said, “I’ve never done this before,
But you’re on the naughty list now – evermore!”

This isn’t good. This is so sad!
The Claus-man thinks I’m really bad!
Ah well, at least my nose didn’t break!
Chalk it all up to a Redneck mistake!

– reprinted with permission from