Revisting St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, as I laid in my bed
Although it was quiet outside, many thoughts stirred my head;
The tree sparkled, though draped with uneven lights,
No hopes of a visitor could be seen in my sights;

So my mind got to thinking about the year just behind,
Was it visions of sugar-plums that danced in my mind?
I laid in my cami with sweats on my legs,
And settled to review things from pinnacle to dregs.

When out from my memory arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to write what was the matter.
Away went my pen, it flew like a flash,
Tearing up the page in a streak and a dash.

I thought of you and me under the Kenyan moon,
Weekend trips that ended too soon.
I thought of the things that I missed so much,
From your incessant correcting and always going Dutch.

With banter and wit, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment you’d do just the trick.
More rapid than eagles did our romance take flight,
There was whistling and shouting, a bark and a bite.

I’ll never forget the way you looked in that corner,
Already drinking your beer, you’d never wait to order.
The way we waltzed across your living room floor,
How I’d call you many things, but never a bore.

We jogged to the top of a Spanish mountain peak,
And dashed along the Cadaqués creek.
Like leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
Meet with an obstacle and mount to the sky;

We always knew our time was finite,
We could love like crazy, but it would end one night.
As I reflect on our past with a twinkling in my eye,
There are both times that I prance and times that I paw, no lie.

I think how much you hate conflict and direct interventions,
How much you love characters and being the center of attention.
I think how you’re so flexible, yet also so stiff,
Especially if it’s a pound of sea bass that you sniff.

You don’t like waking up early, in fact you’re even cross,
But you love raucous evenings and the poem about the albatross.
I know you’ll go on to do amazing things,
Influencing people and hot vacation flings.

I think of our time together, and it reminds me of a movie,
The constant gardener or maybe James Bond III.
There was action and adventure, angst and devotion,
It’s not jitterbug perfume, but it’s a special potion.

I love how much you’ve taught me, from grammar to myself,
To be more independent, from validation to wealth.
Your style is unique, you’re no cookie cutter type,
I hope you find that someone, so you never have to swipe.

Of all of the men I’ve tried and all the men I’ve dated,
I think you should know, you’re most highly rated.
I should say that I’ll love you until the day that I die,
And I’ll never forget each time you made me cry.

There is a place in my heart that no one will fill,
Because you leave a mark that just won’t heal.
Your heart is pure and true in a most quirky way,
And one day, you’ll find just the right person and give it away.

In the meantime, I know moving on is never easy or quick,
Especially when you meet someone who just makes you tick.
So this Christmas, I’ll only ask one gift of Saint Nick,
And that is…may all of these memories stick.

And laying my finger aside of my nose,
And so it occurred, these memories I chose,
And therefore, this pen I lay down like a pistol,
And away they all fly like the down of a thistle.

But I smiled as I thought, ere of his memory and sight—
“Happy Christmas to you, and to you a good night!”

[Read “Christmas Truce: Raising Our White Flags with ‘Joyeux Noël’“]

Jenny Lee Hurst

Jenny is Senior Public Health Analyst at Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, U.S. Department of State. She works in the field of epidemiology and data analytics and is passionate about international development. She has served twice in the Peace Corps in the countries of Ukraine and Zambia. Her favorite hobby and undergraduate degree is Modern Poetry. She also enjoys running and re-reading Pale Fire. Jenny lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her partner.

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