By KALEIGH DELBRIDGE, December 17, 2021
“on Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer” and so on—
the night was clear and the moon shone bright,
illuminating the frosted glass panes of the small house just off Plains Drive,
the fern frost stretching out like spindly fingers.
the last breath of a fire glowed ice-hot in the fireplace,
the lights on the tree were white like the blanket of snow outside.
“unidentified object detected”
everyone was asleep snug in their beds,
except little Nick, determined to determine if what he’d been told was true.
his eyes darted from cookie plate to fireplace to window to sky;
he had all night, and the darkness of the shack didn’t bother him much,
accustomed to the creaks and groans which resounded from the walls.
“clear to fire”
it was only midnight when Nick decided it was a scam,
some terrible scheme to dash his dreams—
and that’s when a blaze of light caught his eye.
a comet, maybe a star, falling from the heavens just outside his window.
he rushed to the door, boots forgotten on the cold wooden floor.
louder than the trumpets at school or the sirens of a firetruck,
in the field a hundred yards away,
came down a great comet, red and brown and white and gold, steaming among the snow.
Nick knew no better, so instead he just cheered for the felled sleigh;
there were no gifts under the tree that year.