Dear Santa Claus,

I learned long ago
that you were really my parents.
Dad built the doll beds
and Mom dressed the dolls.
Often my wishes were not
granted because
they had no money.

But I want to thank you anyhow
for the feeling I always had
on Christmas morning
when I woke in the dark
knowing that you had come.
Thank you for the certainty
that it was the light step
of your reindeer on the roof
that I’d heard.  Thank you

for bringing me, sometimes,
better things than I’d wanted
even though I hadn’t been
very good:  the ballerina
with jointed legs,  the microscope
in the wooden box.  I still
have them.   And thank you
as well for the disappointments.
The cheap Betsy Wetsy knockoff.
The pale blue mohair sweater
comes to mind, too, though
by then, I’d stopped believing.
Life is complicated.  Thank
you for teaching me that.

O, Santa, I want you back again.
I want the Christmas tree lighted
when I get up on Christmas morning.
I want an orange in my stocking.
On the table by the rocking chair
I want to find that empty plate and cup.
I want to hear again the faint jangle of bells;
I want a dust of snow on the living room floor.


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