by Arlene Ang

On Christmas eve
my father wears red
while we pretend
he comes down
the chimney
we don't have.

Mother says moral
support will make man
of a husband,
turn my brothers and me
into heroes
that tamed beasts.

Long white beard
cannot cover
cracked veins on
red face and nose
or the padded belly
of well-beered years.

I wish I were
Santa's little helper -
an elf who just keeps
his eyes on toys
instead of Santa
on non-Christmas days.

Perhaps one who builds
wooden soldiers,
unbreaks bones, eases black
from skin, rides reindeers
and not just receives
year-round blows.

Revised version of WISH was previously published in Inscape



Arlene Ang lives in Venice, Italy where she edits the Italian Niederngasse (www.niederngasse.com). Her poetry has recently appeared in KotaPress Journal, sidereality, Scrivener's Pen, Poet's Canvas and three candles. Recent awards include: Absinthe Literary Review 2002 Eros & Thanatos Prize Winner and Clean Sheets 2003 Poetry Contest 2nd Place Winner. .


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