John C. Mannone
with its warped glass windows in the middle
of a historic town, shows off its wrap-around
black iron rails Victorian style. Bright and tiny,
a magical house would appear in its parking lot
every Christmas season and Santa would shimmy
out the doorway to light the Christmas Tree next
door. Yes, he was kind, rotund—a man with beard,
but this time it wasn’t white. It was full-length black
with his side-lock curls dangling under moonlight.
And after all those Ho-Ho-Ho’s, he spun around
and pointed to a structure he flashed next to the tree,
then winked and said shalom as he lighted that one, too.
All the kids laughed and sang, holding each other’s hands.
Poet’s Notes: A number of years ago, while Santa was doing the New Mexico stretch over the holidays, residents of Doylestown, Pennsylvania were caught off guard when what to their wondering eyes should appear but a walk-through dreidel lit up from the inside and perched on the cobblestone apron before the Fountain House. The Doylestown Borough Bulletin Volume 24, Issue 2, Fall-Winter 2013 proclaimed on page 9, “The Doylestown Business and Community Alliance will be hosting our annual Santa’s arrival and tree lighting on November 29, 2013… The countdown to the tree lighting will be lead by Santa… Please also stop by and see our giant Dreidel at the corner of State & Hamilton, near to Santa’s house.” http://www.doylestownborough.net/siteimg/Fall_Winter_2013_Final_WEB.pdf.
Editor’s Note: Hanukkah technically will end at nightfall tomorrow, December 20, this year, but the final candle-lighting ceremony will take place at nightfall tonight. This final lighting will show off the menorah in all its glory with all eight candles plus the central helper candle or shamash ablaze. I find John’s poem with its humor and inclusive message perfectly fitting to mark the unofficial end of Hanukkah.