The Christmas Gift

THE carriage was not a giant red wrapped present as it passeda village boy, thinned by dying light

Who looked for luck but no slither

of moon peeped. Just hard specks

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like dust as dusk enclosed eternity.

It ran with great gold coins

for wheels and one white mare

that moved with feline fluidity.

Outside a big, rambling house

this vehicle stopped. Noticed

yet unnoticed a figure still watched

as costumed Santa stacked

coloured boxes and windows

were festoons of smiling children.

The boy looked down but no four-

leafed clover grew amidst

frost-blacked, strandy grasses.

Then the horse, glowing in lamplight,

ears like witches' hats, except ivory,

neighed, scraped a soft hoof,

seemed to nod his way. Done,

the carriage moved and in a swirl,

was gone. But before him

something shone. A horseshoe,

bright, fresh, luminous as a new moon.

And the stars warmed, reformed.

Mary Charman Smith