(Picks up where Grandma Hitches a Ride with Santa left off)
Landing on another roof, the sleigh stopped.
The sleigh driver carried her down
into an attic where a ladder propped
open a hatch, which he jumped through and down
into a manger stall where a woman lay
groaning from birthing pains in need of aid.
Rolling up her sleeves, Leesha chose to play
the role of midwife to pay for the aid
she’d received this night, “don’t you worry dear,”
I’ve brought more babes through birth than years, I’ve lived.
With a bit ‘o the old witchery, dear,
you’ll both be fine,” she said, until death’s sieve,
sifted them from life, but that wouldn’t happen
for many years hence, much joy until then.
Santa hopped back into his sleigh after
giving the awed father’s hand a firm shake.
“A bit of a relic, gone hereafter,
she is, best midwife I’ve found, no mistake.”
The reindeer took to the sky flying fast,
waning night and dwindling life ran their course.
Old Leesha had few hours left ‘fore she passed.
Time enough to fetch the gift from its source.
“Good Shayari, open your border one
last time for this tired traveler,
this red pilgrim,” said he, doffing his one
hat, a red cone fur trimmed, a traveler’s
cap, for he was Christmas’ sole wizard.
Who else could withstand her freezing blizzards?
Before him a skyward reaching curtain
striated with rainbows, coruscated
with bands of lightning that heav’n ward fountained
in a shield that allowed to pass those fated.
Christmas’ sword parted that shield and through
the cleft it made, his sleigh swiftly darted.
He flew o’er the serrated mount range through
clearing skies to finish ‘fore day started.
O little mount fortress of Eredren,
how still your halls and galleries do lie.
Above your deep, dreamless sleep, dear children,
the silent stars go by; watch where you lie,
because in your shadowed corridors shines
E’erlasting Light, with hopes and fears entwined.
Ran sat scribbling, his strokes defined a face
wrinkled by age, worn by care, her hopes met
in him tonight as he looked o’er the place
to his father brooding; his mind was set.
Sarn regarded the Christmas tree, its glow
warmed his heart and wrung from it regret that
he had no presents to set with a bow.
Indentured, he earned no money and that
sat ill with him tonight ’cause he’d no toy
to give his son on Christmas day, just time
he had to give and he gave that with joy.
Tonight he wanted to give more than time.
He’d nothing to offer ‘cept his presence
and that didn’t seem enough of a present.
“Look, look Papa!” Ran held up his drawing.
An old woman regarded Sarn her eyes
soft, her mouth caught ‘tween smiling and frowning,
all framed by white hair that obscured an eye.
Familiarity tickled memory.
He’d seen a younger version of that face.
“She’s coming,” Ran said, but Sarn’s memory
found no match; perhaps he didn’t know that face.
‘Fore he could inquire about the picture,
there arose a clatter on the terrace.
Opening the shutters what a picture
met his eyes: eight reindeer on the terrace
standing by a sleigh and a red suited
man that Christmas had sent there to recruit.
“‘Tis your help I need,” said he, “my power
wanes with the coming morn but yours rises.”
Santa held out his hand and his power
faded, “take my hand, let’s ride ’till sunrise;
let us work one last Christmas miracle
together; lend me your magic; let’s fly.”
“Let’s go!” Ran said, smiling, “to miracles!”
Sarn cast one last glance at the suite lit by
the Christmas tree’s glow; Nolo’s family had gone
to midnight mass, Miren to a party;
his bro’s last words stung, Ran wasn’t a mistake.
At least Miren would be careful at that party;
that conversation hadn’t been a mistake.
He didn’t need to be here, so why not go?
A Christmas adventure beckoned, “let’s go.”
~ ~ ~
Merry Christmas to all!
The story continues in Santa’s Flight.
~ ~ ~
Great Grandmother image provided by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge #92; originally taken by SFC Lance Widner, Div. 1 CC BY 2.0.
This post was also inspired by: Poetry 101 Rehab: Wrapped.
This is my “now.”