A Man Called Merry Christmas

A man called Merry Christmas
lives behind the Safeway,
among the boxes and bins
of the season of festive cheer.

He is a long white beard
and rat-nest shock of hair,
not combed since gone forever.
Blue eyes sparkling
under a new December sun,
above a toothless smile,
inside a wide and empty grin.
A booming, bellowed laugh
(ha-ha-ha)
cheers the sockless car park
from where he’s sitting,
with his legs crossed,
by the Salvo’s collection bin.

Mr Merry Christmas is a loner,
talk and laughing to himself.
No room for company
or strangers.
Forage isn’t meant to share,
it’s a solitary gift
subject to spoiling
if not eaten in the present,
after wrappings
of lettuce leaves and plastic paper
are sniffed once and discarded,
with an echo shout of triumph
(ha-ha-ha),
or the low dismay
of wiping hands on baggy jeans,
or on red and green
frayed braces.

He’s happy Mr Merry Christmas
(ha-ha-ha)
from behind the Safeway store,
among the boxes and the bins
of another festive season
(ha-ha-ha).


© Frank Prem, 2000

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7 thoughts on “A Man Called Merry Christmas

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