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A Child’s Christmas Carol: poem by Nolo Segundo

decorations on a Christmas tree: a wooden angel, a Santa hat, candy canes, and dried orange slices, image by Jolita, on Pixabay

Christmas ornaments, image by Jolita, on Pixabay


Then… it was a time of true magic,

When the world was small and soft.

It had to be magic, my mind of five

Told me: how else could my brothers

And I go to sleep on an ordinary,

Dull and quiet night, to awaken in

Sheer joy the next morn as though

We had been zapped by a warm

Bolt of harmless lightning, setting

Our now restless bodies tingling…

Like racehorses at the gate of magic,

We stood at the top of the stairs,

Pulling at whatever patience we

Could muster under the admonitions

Of Mom and Dad to wait! wait! the

Camera must be loaded—but how

Painful to be still when we knew

Children’s paradise was only a

Stairway away—and what a

Paradise we saw unfolded in

Our now unfamiliar living room!

The tree drew our eyes first—

It was big and fat, with its

Branches sagging under all

Its myriad ornaments: glass

Balls, plastic candy canes,

Tinsel drooping as though

It hung on a weeping willow

And not a proud Blue Spruce.

And hundreds and millions of

Colored lights, some blinking,

Some staid, made our tree

Sparkle like the royal crown

Of a giant king—perhaps

The King of Toys, for they

Were seen in abundance

Wherever we looked: trucks

And bikes, and bats and games.

Each brother had his own pile

(we marveled how thoughtful

Santa must be) and we knew

In each stack there were boxes

Beautifully wrapped but sans

Treasure, alas, hiding only socks

Or shirts, perhaps a sweater.

Well, even the jolly fat man

Could not be perfect—still,

He would bring magic to our

Home every year, overnight

Transforming our prosaic lives

By wonder, by magic, by love.

And after he went away,

When I was an ancient six,

The world grew much bigger

But colder, dull and empty

Of that special joy that

Can only come to those

Children who believe…

Author’s note: “For it is clear in the Gospels that Jesus loved children…

and Santa embodies that love as I realized only as an old man savoring

the sweetest memories of his childhood.”

Nolo Segundo is the pen name of a retired teacher, 75, who became a published

poet in his 8th decade. His work is found in over 125 literary journals/anthologies

in the U.S., England, Canada, Romania, Scotland, Australia, Sweden, and Turkey.

Three books of his poetry have been published: The Enormity of Existence (2020),

Of Ether and Earth (2021), and his third book, titled Soul Songs, was just released

by Cyberwit in December, 2022. He shared that the royalties go to Doctors Without

Borders. The book is available at: Nolo Segundo (

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