christmas where a girlfriend worked
my time with Tessa was pretty much up
it was on the cards -
it did not need a tarot reader -
sex had dwindled from a summer
of no holds barred
to an autumn of no chance
of a hold at all.
so, in October when she asked
if I’d be her school Santa –
I figured, despite the evidence,
I must still be ‘well in there’.
‘maybe you’ve misread the runes
it’s a ‘woman thing’ she’s going through.’
(whatever that was)
I do not ‘do’ Christmas
for cliché reasons
and a few known only to me.
but if I played the part
my parts should get played with too –
a drunken, fumbling, kissy kissy
‘thank you, darling’ would do.
from September to December
in an unspoken love-ban
Theresa reprised Lysistrata
while she tossed and turned
whistled, purred, and snored.
beside me - but not touching.
I laid awake wondering
what I’d done wrong,
weighing various options.
‘ hang in there - there’s still hope... maybe.
at least you’ve got the front door key’
Father Christmas day:
the school sec. passed me a bin liner
of Santa Claus regalia
and opened a broom cupboard,
‘get changed in there.’
a commotion down the corridor;
a Monster Munchy 10 year old
frog-marched to the Head Teacher’s door
pinned down on the ‘naughty sofa.’
‘stop fighting! stop biting! sit still...
‘fat chance of that’
... just wait till your parents get here!’
I belted a cushion around my waist.
put on a rancid Santa uniform
and (two sizes too big) wellingtons.
then hung an itchy cotton wool beard on,
and lo! the transformation was done.
I opened the door and into the corridor
the ‘bad lad’ gasped
his mouth dropped open
he stared wide-eyed
and leapt from the sofa
I feared for
my redundant genitalia.
his arms pincered me
bear-hugging to a point
then he released the death grip,
ran off, kicking doors and shouting
“Father Christmas is here! the real one!”
Tess was not in her class
a bored ‘supply’ shrugged,
‘left at dinner due to an
‘unforeseen domestic situation’.’
bus home for Santa, then.
a note pinned to her door,
‘thanks for today...
I’m sure my class will love you.
I’m away for christmas.
leave the key next door.’
I never saw Tessa again.