A funny thing happened on my train to work today,
Santa Claus sat down to my left, sans the sleigh.
He was wearing a black trench coat, no gloves and/or hat,
and his beard was all trim like an aristocrat.
He was reading a book that was called
“The Fourth Part of the World,” and so I stalled,
telling myself that Santa is still learning,
readying the gifts and the coals that are burning.
He got on my train at Harvard Square,
a historic stop to which none can compare.
He was smiling now as he was back then,
in annals and stories of long back when.
“The Fourth Part of the World” as historians would decree,
is our fair land, America, the land of the free.
I see now the history of its story which is true,
and so Santa has come to see what is new.
He sat to my left, across from a mother and child,
he waved at the child whose response was quite mild.
His cheeks were not rosy as legend foretold,
but round as cherry apples, so very rarely sold.
Perhaps it was due to the lack of cold weather,
a trait that’s most common in the month of December.
Does Santa remember the cold and its sting?
Does Santa have snowfall as a gift he would bring?
While he studies away I imagine a story,
about Santa, his life, and his ultimate glory.
Christmas is only one day;
he lives and dies within it, some say.
The suspense and the joy from the start never pause,
commercials and hallmarks seem to mask the true cause.
The story of Santa transforms out of symbol,
a history protected like a thumb by a thimble.
Santa is only alive on this day;
he rests and he dreams while time keeps him at bay.
His memory is clear of all thought of misdeed,
which explains the list he checks twice as a creed.
I’ll assume he lives life in a slumber all year
until Christmas awakens within him good cheer.
In his dreams he’ll make visits to lands lesser known,
and see how much all the little children have grown.
I left him there reading as we entered the city.
Almost everyone ignored him, what a pity.
I will always remember his face,
even after he leaves without a trace.