A Christmas Fantasy

You know that thing you do where you read something, and completely misread a single word, and then go back and it’s normal and how it was meant to be?

That happened to me a couple of days ago. I misread a single word on a postcard from a certain shop, and at the speed of thought an entire world of possibilities opened up to me, based on that misreading. But in the space of a heartbeat I saw what was really written, which wasn’t nearly so interesting.

That didn’t stop me writing a poem about it though. Enjoy!

A Christmas Fantasy

In the post-Christmas languor
    Approaching the New Year—
Heart and belly sated
    Full with seasonal cheer—
While bagging up the gift-wrap,
    Under a pile of mail
I glimpsed a red-trimmed postcard:
    Orvis having a sale.

Under the pizza leaflets,
    Envelopes for the poor,
Local IT repair firms—
    All offered through my door;
Proclaimed the Orvis postcard
    (I’m sure it said, I swore!),
For sale: hundreds of poems,
    All “at half-price or more.”

“What are these wondrous tidings?”
    I said, and in my haste,
Pulled on my boots and raincoat,
    “There is no time to waste!
I’ll go straight to Dover Street
    To find this sacred store,
There to buy us some poems
    All for half-price or more.”

In my granddad’s day, he got
    A sonnet for his daughter.
Even then they were not cheap—
    Sixpence for a quarter.
But he would be shocked to see
    At the Orvis store,
Poems of all size and shapes
    For sale; half-price or more.

In my mind I saw it clear:
    New poems by the pound!
Finely graded, freshly picked,
    In spoonfuls heaped and round.
Or, perhaps, they’d sell by length,
    Laid out across the floor:
I’d get three yards of sonnet
    And pay half-price or more.

I’d try all their limericks
    And even haikus too—
And to the fair assistant,
    I’d say, “And one for you?”
I’d hurry then, and take the card
    (‘Cause it would be a mess
If what they really meant to say
    Wasn’t “half-price or less”).

As I reached to take the card,
    My hand upon the door,
A pizza leaflet shifted;
    I saw the line once more:
An ‘i’ and ‘t’ were covered—
    Not ‘poems’ at the store—
It read “Hundreds of items
    All at half-price or more.”

Dashed was my Christmas vision—
    There was no sacred store
With yards and heaps of sonnets
    And verses on the floor.
Curse your eight-pointed snowflakes!
    (Your grammar’s also poor.)
Yet still I’ll dream of poems
    Hundreds: half-price, or more.


Bah humbug.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
This entry was posted in Science-less Sunday, Silliness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Christmas Fantasy

  1. Davieboy says:

    Super stuff! Bravo.

  2. I’d visit that store (the one you originally read). Though who says “Half-price or more,” rather than “up to 50% off”?

  3. rpg says:

    Yeah, that got me, too. I wish such a store existed.

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