ISLANDER IMAGE BY ASHLEY CARTER

‘Twas the night before Christmas in Maine



‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all across Maine,

Not a celebrity was stirring, not even Josh Chamberlain.

The ATVs were all parked by the woodshed with care,

In hopes that that Claus fellah from Up North a piece soon would be there.

The kiddos were nestled all snug in Rangeley Lake beds,

While visions of skiing Saddleback danced in their heads.

And Mother in her flannels (L.L. Bean, $29.95 and shipping is free), and I in my Patriot’s coat,

Had just finished our Moxie but couldn’t find the remote.

When out in the dooryard there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the Marden’s discount Posturpedic to see what was the matter.

Away to the inefficient windows I flew like a flash,

Tore open the rusted screen, but couldn’t budge the painted-shut sash.

The moon on the lawnmower beneath the still unshoveled snow,

Gave the luster of downtown Bangor to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should show through,

But an airborne Skidoo Grand Touring, and tiny Shriner lobster boats too.

With a little old driver, wearing whale watch sun specs,

I knew in a moment he wasn’t from FedEx.

More rapid than seagulls, these chowdah heads came,

And the bearded dude shouted, and hollered, and call’d them weird names:

“Now! Hancock, now! Washington, now! Aroostook and Waldo,

“On! Cumberland, on! Penobscot, on! Sagadahoc and Lincoln.

“To the summit of Cadillac! To Katahdin’s headwall!

“Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

Like a flier from Reny’s that before Nor’easters fly,

Then over the Appalachian Trail, and up to the sky.

And up O’r the wind vane these nimrods they flew,

With the rig full of toys – and some boring oranges too:

And then in a twinkling, by the DISH on the roof,

Came wicked prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I pushed back my Sox ’04 cap, and was just turning ’round,

Down the rusty pipe to the stove up furnace in the cellar Santa came with a bound:

He was dress’d in a genuine, imitation fur look,

With a jacket as red as a lobster just been cooked.

A case of B&M beans from Portland was flung on his back,

And he look’d like one of them red hot dogs just opening his pack.

His eyes – how they twinkled! His fleece vest: how merry,

His cheeks were like Rugosas, with a hint of blueberry.

The beard of his chin was the color of old snow,

And he danced and hustled like a Bob Marley show.

In his pocket a pipe, and an Allagash beer,

He promised the misses to cut back next year.

He has a broad face, too many treats from the deli,

In the right light you’d swear he was Liza Minelli.

He was happy and playful, a right jolly old elf,

And I laugh’d when I saw what he did last night on the shelf.

A wink of his eye made for a near perfect scene,

It was a segment in waiting for TV’s Bill Green.

He spoke not an “Ayuh,” but went straight to his work,

And fill’d all the Bean Boots then turn’d with a jerk.

And waving his hand, saying cell service was spotty,

And giving a nod, whispered “beam me up Scotty.”

He sprung to his Skidoo, to the key gave a twist,

And off they went downstreet with a flick of the wrist:

But I heard him exclaim, as he cursed the frostbite –

Happy Christmas, Deah Mainahs! and to all a good night!

Earl Brechlin

Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.
Earl Brechlin

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