. The North Pole's on Lockdown ‘Tis the night before Christmas; it pains me to say--- The North Pole’s on lockdown before the big day. The elves have been furloughed and fester in bed. The toy factory’s folded and Rudolph is dead… Poor Prancer and Dasher and Dancer are lame. An arrow struck Blitzen and Cupid’s to Blame. Dear Donner’s a goner and Comet’s unfit And Vixen is on a rotisserie spit. All starry-night flights pose a threat to the globe--- St. Nick and his sleigh failed a federal probe. “He’ll sully the chimneys, leave germs on lit trees!” Says grinchy old Grouchy, the Chief of Disease. ‘Tis the night before Christmas and who gives a damn--- The season is missing the bearded main man! Since Santa’s accused of the worst type of vice, He’s not fit to judge who is naughty or nice. Be warned, the “new normal” is gift-less and grim; Kris Kringle’s gone bust and he’s hitting the gin. He’s blurry and slurry with no HO HO HO In ermine-trimmed crimson with nowhere to go. The saddest of all is his scant welfare check--- So meager it won’t buy a present or deck His bleak, barren hall with one bough of green holly, Resuscitate Rudolph or bring back our jolly! . . Susan Jarvis Bryant is from Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets).