Charles Harper Webb

(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

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The Death Of Santa Claus


He's had the chest pains for weeks,
but doctors don't make house
calls to the North Pole,

he's let his Blue Cross lapse,
blood tests make him faint,
hospital gown always flap

open, waiting rooms upset
his stomach, and it's only
indigestion anyway, he thinks,

until, feeding the reindeer,
he feels as if a monster fist
has grabbed his heart and won't

stop squeezing. He can't
breathe, and the beautiful white
world he loves goes black,

and he drops on his jelly belly
in the snow and Mrs. Claus
tears out of the toy factory

wailing, and the elves wring
their little hands, and Rudolph's
nose blinks like a sad ambulance

light, and in a tract house
in Houston, Texas, I'm 8,
telling my mom that stupid

kids at school say Santa's a big
fake, and she sits with me
on our purple-flowered couch,

and takes my hand, tears
in her throat, the terrible
news rising in her eyes.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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  • * Sunprincess * (6/30/2014 8:34:00 AM)

    ...............an outstanding poem.....separation in this life is the hardest thing we will ever face....yet we must have and hold onto faith that we shall see them again in the other realm.... (Report) Reply

  • Consuelo Roland (7/1/2012 11:25:00 AM)

    Loved your poem - the double meaning built in all the way through pointing to something much bigger, the loss of innocence and how death makes us grow up suddenly, irrevocably. I had tears in my throat myself. (Report) Reply

  • Allison Helman (7/1/2012 12:21:00 AM)

    This poem came into my mind a few times today and, it's just so sad. I'm sorry to the poet whose heart was broken. I'm sorry for the need for sarcasm that strikes out like a weapon to mask such aching, bitter pain. I'm grateful to the poet because, he helped me see part of my shadow today for all it's ugliness, fear, and hate. That lump of coal. (Report) Reply

  • Ryan Kabot (9/26/2008 10:30:00 PM)

    ok to the poem is't funny its not actually about santa claus dying, its about a boy whose father dies and his mother is trying to break the news to him by saying santa claus died so it would be so hard for either of them, but the boy says that all the kids at school say santa clause doesnt exist so she has to tell him the truth. so yea thats what its really about. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Gale (11/2/2006 1:46:00 PM)

    Great poem kind sir. Gave ya a ten fer originality. Ha! Ha! Ha! Funny Santa got a heart attack. Makes him more human and real. Ya should read my poem entitled Santa's Surprise Visit. God bless all poets-MJG. (Report) Reply

Read all 5 comments »

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