Christmas Returns

by Pam Tanzey

Santa comes quietly long before dawn 
While shops are still busy and lights are still on 
While dinners are cooking and kitchens are warm 
And children count presents they’ll open by morn.

He slips past the trees in windows aglow 
Through the gate to the backyard 
As icy winds blow 
To find the pup he brought last year 
Chained up in the snow 
And, kneeling, he whispers, 
“Are you ready to go?”

There are too many stops like this one tonight 
Before the beginning of his regular flight 
He leaves not a note or footprint in sight 
Just an unbuckled collar 
On a cold Christmas night….

• Pam won a Maxwell Award for excellence in Poetry in 1998 from the Dog Writers Association of America for this poem.

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