The grey air of a northern seaside town
is no place for thoughts of Santa.
Pale, haunted faces,
hard faced grannies,
men who are thinking of something else
trudge anxiously towards Christmas,
“She won’t want that-
I can tell you that now.”
“Well that’s what she’s getting.”
Baby carriers in battle formation,
Used as weapons.
Private conversations heard
Personal space invaded.
“I’ve finished. I can relax now.”
“Eat your sausage roll.”
In the distance a trumpeter
plays a cracked and rickety version
of silent night.
A child in a cerise snow suit
lies fast asleep.
Arms stretched out.
A flying snowman in her dreams.
Sleep in heavenly peace.
A cigarette butt is ground into the concrete.
“I just got stung for a fiver in there”.
“I don’t know what I want.”
This is a world unvisited
by the Coca Cola truck,
a world where Christmas happens somewhere else,
beamed to us by the John Lewis advert.
Here we have only Christmas sold to us by Poundland.
Amazing Christmas value-
One pound at a time.
Or the Holland and Barrett
Christmas anything and everything event.
That should just about cover it.
“Give us that bag here.”
“I can manage.”
Pigeons peck underneath benches,
small pile drivers excavating the crumbs of mince pies.
The lights are lit, unseen in the daylight.
The man selling satellite television
from the boot of a car
has his hands in his pockets
and his woolly hat pulled down over his ears.
Magic up a movie on demand.
“Mummy do that!”
“Stop! Wait! Come here!”
A little girl has her hand held firmly.
“You won’t have any presents at all
if you’ve been naughty.”
“Well you’ll have to be a good girl then, won’t you.”
The only magic and sparkle around here
comes from the words written on my carrier bag.
It asks me to believe in it……….
so I might as well.
I did buy something after all.