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Thanksgiving Dinner
by Wayne Edwards

Grandma thought turkey passé, I hear
And though it might sound a bit queer,
She served us all steaks
Made from rattlesnakes.
There’ll be lots of leftovers this year!
Change of Menu
by Wayne Edwards

The stupid bird was there again; it seemed that it was everywhere. 
It poked its beak in everything and left deposits there. 
Cloud Face had hunted all day long without a bit of luck. 
He hadn’t seen a single goose and had missed the only duck.
He wished the stupid bird would go, he was quickly getting furious. 
The irritating sounds it made at things that made it curious. 
The message came the other day, inviting them to eat. 
The Pilgrims would make vegetables, if they would bring the meat.
Indians, everybody knew, could track game anywhere. 
He’d quickly bag a big bull moose or maybe shoot a bear. 
But the stupid bird was there again with its silly clucks and gobbles, 
The kids make fun of how it walks and imitate its wobbles.
At last Cloud Face had found a deer and he took careful aim, 
He never saw the stupid bird or from just where it came. 
If curiosity killed the cat, it sure made this bird dead. 
It’s sad reward for saving Bambi, an arrow through its head.
So Cloud Face had no meat to take for this Thanksgiving Day, 
But then he saw the stupid bird and a joke that he could play. 
He’d get his squaw to cook the bird and take it to the feast; 
That he would trick the crazy Pilgrims, no worry in the least.
The reason why we eat this bird, on Thanksgiving has been murky. 
Cloud Face tried to shoot a deer; instead he got a turkey. 
Just think if Deer had gotten the job, that first Thanksgiving Day, 
Would Turkey then have been selected to pull old Santa’s sleigh?
My wife, Ruth, has a friend, Grace, whose family has a unique tradition involving the manger scene. Twelve days before Christmas, Mary and Joseph are placed in a room far from the Christmas tree and every day someone gets to move them a little closer to the tree. On Christmas morning they arrive at the tree and baby Jesus is placed in the manger. You have to watch your step at their house during the holidays! My daughter in law, Erin, leaves the crib empty in her manger scene until Christmas morning.
Their traditions gave me the idea for Christmas Make-Believe. The mother in the poem had fond memories of being allowed to play with her family’s manger scene at Christmas time. She was embarrassed to be caught by her kids, while reminiscing.
If you have such a valuable manger scene under your tree that it requires a no-touch-policy, maybe you should get one of less value that the kids can handle. My sister, Jo Anne, still has the old worn Santa doll under her tree each Christmas, that she and I loved until it was ragged.
Christmas Make-Believe
by Wayne Edwards

I remember when the manger scene
Was real as it could be.
I’d gaze at it for hours
Beneath our Christmas tree.
I would babysit for Mary
So that she could get some rest,
And place the wise men and the shepherds
Where they could see the best.
I fed all of the animals,
The donkeys, cows and sheep,
And shushed the grownups in the room
While Baby Jesus was asleep.
I miss those games of make-believe
I played so long ago
There beneath our Christmas tree
Among the hills of cotton snow.
And then I heard them giggle,
They were gathered at the door.
“Mother! Why on God’s green Earth
Are you lying on the floor?”
This is the poem that got me started writing poetry. My Sunday school teacher, Andy, and I share the same type of humor. We also share birthdays with Mark Twain; I being born exactly one hundred years to the day after Clemens.
One Sunday Andy read a poem to the class about the problems a modern Santa would have. I kept thinking of all the points this ‘unknown author’ had missed; besides, his rhythm was lousy.
Santa’s Gone P.C. was written in my mind by the time we got home from church. I just had to put it down on paper. Ruth made several copies on her computer and we began to share it with friends. Then, through the magic of e-mail, we started sharing with more of our friends and a multitude of strangers. I enjoyed all of the praise that I got back, so I just kept writing.
Back to the poem, a modern Santa wouldn’t stand a chance with all of our modern rules, regulations and laws. Can you imagine the lawsuits for trespassing and destruction of property? Those steel runners would be tough on shingles; then there would be speeding violations, large animals in the city without a permit, FAA violations, the list goes on and on.
You won’t appreciate a rooster for an alarm clock unless you’ve lived in the country. There are advantages and disadvantages: they work during power failures and you don’t have to remember to set them, but they know nothing about daylight saving time and they can’t be un-set for weekends and holidays. You also have to worry about night predators, such as the fox, coon or owl, turning your alarm off prematurely. I thought it would be interesting to make up a story about one of the possible courtyard bystanders on the night Peter denied knowing Jesus, not from any perspective of how it might have changed his life from his close encounter with Jesus and Peter, but that life goes on, even with the unbeliever.
Santa’s Gone P.C.
by Wayne Edwards

‘Twas the night before Christmas and Santa’s out of jail. 
He promised to capitulate and now he’s out on bail. 
The vertically challenged little ones that Santa calls his elves, 
Were the sneaky little scamps who filed the charge themselves.
They said it didn’t matter just how much that Santa pays, 
He should never be allowed to make them work on holidays. 
His trouble started early, when P.E.T.A. made it clear, 
That they were going to liberate all of Santa’s deer.
The E.E.O. complained that only deer were hired 
So Santa had to choose, which three you think he fired? 
Not Dancer, not Donder, not Comet, not Cupid, 
They’re too old to fire and Santa isn’t stupid.
And Blitzen was – well, you know what I mean, 
The gay liberation would make such a scene. 
So he dumped the best qualified, for that is the rule, 
And replaced them at last with two cows and a mule.
The government carried poor Rudolph away. 
He never again would guide Santa’s sleigh. 
A radioactive nose was his deadly flaw, 
They buried him deep in the state of Utah.
And Elizabeth his wife, how low could she stoop? 
The night before Christmas, joined a feminist group. 
The helpers were told they must now call her Liz 
And in all correspondence, her title is Ms.
A committee was chosen to pick all the gifts, 
With so many involved, there were quite a few tiffs. 
No leather, no fur, not one single gun, 
Just toys without gender and toys without fun.
And Santa no longer can be merry and gay, 
For we have to be careful with that word today. 
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in each edition, 
The papers proclaimed the end of tradition.
His lawyers could get no last minute stay, 
For OSHA of course had condemned Santa’s sleigh. 
But the worst we now know, what sealed Santa’s fate, 
Was mentioning the birth we all celebrate.
The Alarm
by Wayne Edwards

Would you believe that dumb alarm,
It failed to work again.
Sam would be late another time,
Just like he’d usually been.
He’d bought it from a peddler,
It had no guarantee.
It would have cost too much
Had the peddler made it free!
The peddler said that this alarm
Was sure to be a winner.
If it didn’t work tomorrow,
He’d have the thing for dinner.
Sam stayed up way too late,
Around the court yard fire.
When there’s so much excitement,
One seldom seems to tire.
The man had answered far too quickly
And you could see his fear.
When Sam had said, “I saw you
Cut off that fellow’s ear.”
“It wasn’t me, I wasn’t there”,
But Sam could tell he lied.
The angry curses, hard to fake,
No matter how he tried.
Sam had a hard time leaving;
The courtyard fire was warm.
He didn’t know how he’d wake up
With his no good alarm.
Sam didn’t hear the stupid rooster,
But one thing that we know,
Down in the courtyard by the fire,
A man named Peter heard him crow.
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