Twas the night before Christmas and across the wide plains,
The highways required snow tires and chains.
Wool socks were a dangling on a peg real neat
In hopes they’d be filled with something ‘sides feet.
The boys, under quilts, snored in their bunks–
Dreaming of fishing and puppies and skunks.
Ma decked in fleece–me in long underwear
We’d just closed our eyes after saying our prayers.
When out in the pasture there arose such a ruckus,
We jumped from our blankets—thought tornadoes had struck us!
With pillows and slippers and covers all tossed,
I peered out the window and wiped off the frost.
The moon was fat as a fresh apple fritter,
And snow was a twinkling like holiday glitter.
But a glance at the sky revealed something queer
A flatbed trailer towed by eight John Deeres!
With a driver all burly and bundled in red
It was Santa with a cowboy hat perched on his head!
More rapid than rattlers, his curses—they came–
He whistled and hollered and called out bad names.
“Yo! Tractor, and Combine, Snow Plow, and Grader,
Hey! Mower, and Scraper, Cotton Picker, and Gator!”
Up over the fence posts–along the rock wall,
“Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, all!”
Like tumble weeds bouncing way up high
When winter winds howl north from the sky,
So all that machinery put down on the roof
Jolly Santa and bags all filled up with loot.
In a flash, I heard tires crunching on shingles
With rumbling, putt-putting, and spurs all a-jingle.
I backed from the window, my thoughts in a jumble,
When Santa came down the chimney a-tumble.
All zipped in red coveralls (flannel-lined to boot)
Though ash and engine oil covered that suit.
He flung a bag up over his back
Just like a burlap onion sack.
He had a friendly face–sorta wrinkled and old,
And his nose and cheeks were red from the cold.
Under his mustache, his teeth had a grin,
And curly, white whiskers grew on his chin.
His cheek swelled a bit with a plug of chew,
And the back of his hand had a snowflake tattoo.
He had a big belly—he was a big fellow;
He shook all over like Ma’s Christmas Jell-O.
He was pure country–and no city slicker
All of a sudden, I started to laugh and snicker.
Ma punched me—I gasped, but Santa just winked;
He nibbled a cookie with milk for a drink.
He never said a word—just unloaded the treasure
Filled up the socks and a boot for good measure.
Scratching his belly, tying the bag in a knot,
And tipping his hat up the chimney he shot.
He climbed on his rig—with a shout—up they flew
Filling the skies like a harvesting crew.
I heard him bellow, as he soared ‘cross the prairie,
“I hope this Christmas is happy and merry!”