‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS IN OKLAHOMA*
by Courtney Cantrell
with thanks (and possibly apologies) to Clement C. Moore
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through my home
Dishes rattled and shook like when buffalo roam!
The stockings, they fell from the chimney and stair,
But it wasn’t St. Nicholas — he wasn’t yet there.
Mamma in her kerchief and I in my cap
Came gasping awake from our long winter’s nap.
The children plopped, startled, right out of their beds.
They bumped every elbow and all their wee heads.
Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
The moon set off sparkles on inch-thick ice
And then I saw something that just wasn’t nice.
It made my eyes wonder, it made my brow frown:
Inflatable Santa had toppled right down.
I guessed that tonight there would be no St. Nick,
But my wife hurried over and hugged me right quick.
“Oh honey,” she said, “don’t make no mistake.
We’re gonna have Christmas in spite of that ‘quake!
Now dash and now dance, and now get to fixin’.
We’ll clean up the mess with some fast cleaning blitzin’!”
So that’s what we did — you’d think we could fly.
Our Christmas was back ‘fore the sun gained the sky.
Our children’s eyes twinkled! Their dimples were merry!
Our Christmas was saved! That ‘quake? Not so hairy!
For bestest of all, we still had each other,
Momma and Daddy and sisters and brothers.
I’d panicked when thinking we’d have no jolly elf,
And now I just laughed in spite of myself.
Sure, snowman Frosty had just lost his head,
But an earthquake should give me nothing to dread.
I spoke not a word as the kids went work
Emptying their stockings, no present to shirk.
I first wiped my eyes and then blew my nose.
Tearful prayers of thanksgiving to heaven arose.
With my wife in my arms — kids played on the floor —
I knew that no harm could come through my door.
Forget that dumb ‘quake! Family’s a beautiful sight.
So, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
I took complete poetic license with the extent of the damage we suffered, which amounted to none. ; )
MERRY CHRISTMAS, DEAR INKLINGS! Hope it’s been a great one.