The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge


By Hazel P. Hedrick © 1983

Issue: December, 1983

I thought I heard his reindeer
on the roof top while-a-go,
just why he would be stopping
by our chimney I don't know,

for this house holds no reason
and there are no stockings red
hanging on the mantle,
and no children tucked in bed

dreaming of Old Santa and
the new toys he might bring.
Oh, but he's still up there
I can hear his sleigh bells ring.

Perhaps he too remembers
how it was, not long ago,
when Carl, Marie and Ernie
sought his footprints in the snow,

and sat around the fireplace
in their faded worn pjs
making weak excuses, why
they should not hit the hay.

Hoping they would hear him
on the rooftop when he came.
Questioning their daddy,
begging mom to play their game.

Seems like only yesterday
they helped us trim the tree
and just a night or two ago
their dad got up with me,

while I filled little stockings
he assembled bikes.
Seems like only yesterday
those three were little tykes.

Now they're grown up men and women
rearing families of their own,
facing their tomorrows
when they too will be alone,

with their imaginations
ringing sleigh bells in their heads,
wishing there was something more
to do than go to bed.

Wishing there were stockings
hanging on their mantle piece.
Wishing there were children near
whose questions never cease.

Wishing they could fantasize
those sleigh bells once again.
But wishing doesn't get it
and this poem has to end

before I get so homesick
I can't trim this Christmas tree
and my imagination makes
a crying fool of me.