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December 01st 2009 print

Jennifer Compton

The First Drummer Boy of Xmas

Yesterday I was at the Mall and I heard

my first rendition of Little Drummer Boy.

 

Dear Lawd above—I said to myself—

Xmas is hard upon us. For our sins.

 

It is time to head down the back paddock

with the chain saw and harvest a likely tree.

 

But alas, we have moved away from the place

that has feral and unwanted pine trees aplenty

which as far as I can see are basically weeds

although the local squatter made good money

selling them up in the Big Smoke come December.

What useless things they are. You can’t eat them,

they don’t burn well, they flare up and spit resin, 

they poison the ground around them, nothing grows.

Except toadstools. Plump and gaudy like Xmas bells.

Deck them for their brief season, then chuck them.

At our new house I found the corpse of Xmas past

under the lemon tree. I put it on the burning pile.

Roll on autumn. Ta rum ta ta tum.