If I’d been Santa Claus

If I’d been Santa Claus

I wouldn’t have lived in a semi

in a place in North Yorkshire;

I’d have set sail from

my fur-lined igloo once a year

over the whole sleeping world.


I’d have grown a wonderful beard,

slopped about in an old red dressing gown,

roaring my head off and left

a map of wet footprints.

My best friends would have been

Thunder and Lightning and Blizzard.


I wouldn’t have met my kids

but spent the whole year alone

in my glittering ice-house imagining

the thing they most wanted

and leaving it for them

to find when they woke up.


I‘d have met only the stars,

the moon and the velvet dark,

the owls, the bats, a curious fox

and the children of strangers

for one startled moment

before sleep claimed them.


If I’d been Santa Claus

there’d have been no

swanky play-stations,

no naff Disney spin-offs,

no carrots, no coal, no disappointment,

no wrinkled apple in the toe of a sock.





Carole Bromley’s first full-length collection, A Guided Tour of the Ice House, was published by Smith/Doorstop in 2011. She teaches Creative Writing for York University and writes a poetry blog at http://www.yorkmix.com

(If I’d been Santa Claus was first published in A Guided Tour of the Ice House, Smith/Doorstop, 2011)