My job is reporting naughty or nice, on a sweet little girl
Named Janey, with hair so high, like a chocolate ice cream swirl.
It’s been a few weeks since I was dropped off by Santa’s sleigh
And sadly, my report so far, is she cries instead of wanting to play
Her mommy assured everything would be fine
But her daddy didn’t bring home much, work seemed to always decline
The stress in the home was enough for the little girl to feel
A layer of her childhood ripped off like a Christmas orange peel
I asked Santa, “what should I do?”
It’s not right for her to be so blue.
He suggested a striped bouncy ball
So, I clutched the toy silently, waiting for the moon to fall
Until finally she stirred, then from her bed, she rose
Santa would have been proud, since I stayed perfectly in my pose
Forever later, she made the first bounce of that ball on her wooden floor
But it sunk deep into the rotten boards and she cried even more
I wondered what next to try.
If a new toy wouldn’t stop her to cry
Maybe I should tell her Christmas cheer in notes
I scribbled and folded those words into paper-pointed boats.
She smiled when she read them aloud
I like to think my words lifted her dark cloud
Christmas tradition is worth millennia of translation
Meant to remove judgment, and erase limitation
Dark of long winter nights is replaced with sparkling-coloured lights
To sit beneath telling reindeer, snowman or winged angel stories
And erase your concealed pain with a feeling of tranquil ease
She recited the letter once more,
the moment her daddy walked in the door
He patted her head and sent her off to bed
But the words I’d scribbled didn’t stop her tears
Her face buried in the pillow, she poured out silent fears
Oh, what to do on this Christmas Eve eve?
I had no other plan up my sleeve
A breakthrough on the nextest of days,
when her daddy received a call for a wonderous pay raise.
Everyone, including the kitty, sang an off-key Christmas ditty
Later, tucked in beneath a tattered afghan
Janey sleepily smiled and told me she only hoped she can
Make a request before it was time for me to ditch
I was so elated, my grin nearly slipped a twitch
That on this Christmas Eve, my little girl asked me something I could hardly believe
The turkey will be delish, she supposed, but her true Christmas wish
Is for her mommy never to shed another tear
and her daddy to always have work happily ever after right here
Norma Rrae lives and writes in Fort St. John