A tale for our time

(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore) 

‘Twas the night before Christmas, the mice were alone,

the food cupboards empty, the body lay prone.

The stockings were torn and left lying around

to be eaten and shredded and pulled underground.

The smell of decay it hung thick in the air,

but non of the occupants noticed or cared.

They scavenged and scuttled and slept in their beds

while outside the house the world moved unaware.

*

Then suddenly outside the door was a clatter,

a bang and a splintering of wood as it shattered.

A great cloud of dust filled the still, rancid air

as coughing and groaning men entered the lair.

They looked all around with much shaking of heads,

at the sight of the body one turned round and fled.

Half eaten, once starved and now turning to dust

Mrs Edith Kinsella would have hated this fuss.

*

But what of the son who had pondered anew,

of the house he had known would one day be his due,

who had asked for this visit, as work had prevented

a visit to mother, such guilt he resented.

When all has been cleaned up and tidied, sold on,

his wealth will increase, obligations be gone.

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