Posted in Before the Rain


Hypothesis : what if a renta Santa Claus said “no.”
“No,” to a Barbie doll, Play Station, Jurassic Park Dinosaur
or “yes”
and the Christmas morning stocking is empty
a child recognizes him out of uniform
and challenges absence.
How might he feel?

We had found friendship early
through cricket
and shared delight of the absurd.
He told me not to worry
“you want lose your job… I promise you.”
He said, “promise,” as if making one
a solemn vow – to a not to be messed with God.

After the decision and the appeals
after the realization there was no back door
or fire exit
after the date was set, he came into my office
as if he knew
as if intuition told him it would be quiet and empty –
just the two of us – and a broken promise.
Santa not delivering an urchin’s heartfelt wish
awkward circumnavigation of my packed up space
hands flapping uselessly at his sides
“lots of people here should have gone before you.”

Then he was gone.
I saw him every day, for what was left of my time,
but never again did we talk … he was broken by the broken promise.
Then I was gone
when I came back, he was gone – to his maker.



Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.