Mrs. Kringle’s Lament

It is still snowing here

Mrs. Kringle’s Lament

They said we’d only get an inch of snow
but when I wake it’s covered up the road
and slush has pulled some branches down so low
my favorite tree looks like it might explode.

I trudge outside with gloves and scarf and salt
to promptly slip and fall upon my rear
before I even reach the curb. “Assault!”
I bitch, then freeze as something licks my ear.

I scoot away, my heart up in my throat
and think: a zombie! when the icy slop
slumps to the side like puke on glass. A coat
so cheery green it makes me want to pop

out both my eyes emerges next to me.
I groan and pinch my nose. I know that face.
Those bells. That burp. He’s grown a sparse goatee
which doesn’t quite enhance the scraggly lace

sewn on his cap. “Oh, you again!” he sneezes,
grabs my sleeve as though I’ll help him up.
Yeah, right. I dodge his drunken grasp and seize
his pointed, chilly ears. He drops his cup.

I just don’t care. He thrashes, tries to kick
but cannot get away. “Where’s the deer?”
I snarl. I wish that Santa’d get here quick
before his merry crew drinks all the beer.

“You think I’d rat out my best friends? Oh please!”
he cries, then vomits just as someone’s head
ducks out of sight behind the frosty trees
like Samurai Jack, but drunk. And wearing red.

“I know you’re there, you might as well come out,”
I call, my spirits sinking to despair
as I catch sight of antlers and a snout
crouched low behind my car. I swear.

This happens every year. No joyful bells
for me, oh no. Instead, delinquent elves,
escapees from St. Nick’s gift wrap cartels,
crash in my yard to sleep. “Show yourselves!”

I yell again, not hoping for too much.
Surprise, surprise, who waddles out? The Man.
Kris Kringle. Santa Claus. I blink and clutch
my head (I drop the elf). “What’s the plan?”

I ask. I hope he knows what’s happening.
He “ho-ho-ho’s” and sways a bit, then slips
and suddenly I feel the bitter sting
of cognizance: he’s drunk from feet to lips.

I sigh and drag his jolly ass to bed,
park the sleigh, coax Rudolph to the shed.
The elf I tuck into an extra room.
The beer, I’m sure, is gone, and none too soon.


© 2010 Christine Klocek-Lim

Tis the season



‘Tis the Season

The malls are insane but you have to go shopping

for ribbon and candy to fill the last stocking.

You can’t stop to cry, ’tis the season for snow

and ice covered roads jammed with cars going slow

slow, so horribly … oh! There’s a dude dressed in red

on the side of the walk. He’s clutching his head

like someone hungover. His pants are all goopy:

the knees ripped right out, the butt kind of droopy.

You slow down to stare, but then offer a ride.

He kisses your cheek as he ducks down to hide.

“What the hell are you doing?” you ask and he smirks:

“Rudolph got wasted, went kind of berserk.”

You gape, shake your head. “Oh please, you’re not Santa.”

He shrugs and explains he was over Atlanta

when someone cracked open a bottle of whiskey.

“Three shots and the next thing I knew they’d got frisky.

Comet kicked Dasher right in the——”

“Stop!” you freak out, “Just keep your mouth shut.”

He laughs and you blush, thinking this must be a joke,

he can’t be St. Nick, he looks like a hoax.

“You can drop me right here,” he says while you frown.

“Prancer’s waiting right there, at the edge of the town.”

You slow down, still dubious, but the dude is quite right:

near the tree is a reindeer, head down, fur a fright.

“I told them they shouldn’t imbibe in December.

You’d think they’d believe me, or at least remember

the last time this happened.” He wrinkles his nose

and suddenly yells, “You dumbass! I almost froze!”

You freeze, not believing that Santa would curse,

but Prancer just snorts and throws up on your purse.

“Um—” you say, shocked. The reindeer looks sorry.

You gulp, and inch backwards: Santa’s no longer jolly.

He takes one step forward and scratches his ear—

the next thing you know there’s nothing but beer

left on top of the snow. And footprints. And barf.

You sigh, somewhat pissed, enough is enough,

but as you turn around twice to get out of sight

you trip on the vomit … UGH. What a night!

Next year, Santa please, don’t let them drink booze.

I’d like to go shopping … with clean shoes.

© 2012 Christine Klocek-Lim