‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Fiona Vance
‘Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house,
Not a hard drive was stirring, nor keyboard, nor mouse.
My books had been sent to the liners with care,
in hopes that the commas I’d missed would be rare.
So Pa in his flannels and I in my sweats
wrapped all the kids presents (financial regrets!).
Then what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a miniature man, holding out a green beer.
I said, “Can I help you?” He said, “Aye, indeed!
Be wishin’ a Happy St. Patty’s to me!”
His eyes, how they twinkled! He staggered, quite merry.
This guy was no elf, but a leprechaun. Scary.
I said, “Dude, you’re crazy. This isn’t St, Pat’s.”
Then Pa raised his gaze. “Who in blazes is that?”
“Tis I!” said our guest, and he drank a long draw
Of his beer, then he passed out right there on the floor.
“I hate when that happens,” Pa said with a sigh.
“At least he’s not armed. Remember Fourth of July?”
“Or Valentines Day,” I said. “That was rich.
Drunk babies in diapers with bows? What a bitch.”
“Why is it,” Pa asked, mopping pools of green beer,
“That all the drunk freaks always find their way here?”
“Who knows,” I said, “but at least it’s just beer.
Imagine if Santa had crashed his eight deer?”
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The smashing of shingles by each little hoof.
As I drew in my breath, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
“Happy Chris—hic!” he hiccoughed and flailed on his back,
With his feet in the air, tangled up in his sack.
“Spoke too soon,” I said, then I heaved a great sigh.
“I’ll check on the deer. See if any survived.”
And then there was shaking, cold hooves on my arm,
And I opened my eyes and sat up in alarm.
“Mommy! Daddy! Wake up! It’s Christmas! He came!”
Santa Came and left presents! He came! He came!”
Pa popped out of bed. “I’ll mop it,” he mumbled.
Then off toward the sound of the children he stumbled.
I glanced at the clock. Not bad. Six-fifteen.
Last year they had wakened at three-seventeen.
But I heard Pa exclaim, ‘ere he tripped out of sight,
“Babe…were you drinking green beer here last night???”