“The Campaign Before Christmas” by Lorna Davis

Lorna Davis


with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore

’Twas ten days before Christmas, and on my TV
Were Republicans seeking the Presidency.
With the dishes all cleared from the dining room table,
I sat on my sofa to watch them on cable.
The candidates stepped to the stage with great pride,
And with hope that more voters would be on their side.
Now Donald, now Rubio, Jeb Bush and Carly!
On Carson, on Kasich, on Ted Cruz and Christie!
Step up to the podium! Speak to the hall!
Now talk away! Talk away! Talk away all!
And in between all the political chatter,
Reporters will tell us which words really matter.
It’s ISIS! And immigrants! Quick, buy a gun!
Our leaders are losers, be scared, everyone!
We must pay for more weapons, and wall out the world!
Let our bombs be a-bombing, our flags all unfurled!
There are wars on our freedoms, on Christmas, on babies!
Obama is useless! And Clinton has rabies!
But Trump is a maniac! Bush is a dummy!
(Frankly, so far, they all seem kind of crummy.)
By the end of the evening, I slumped in my chair,
And I’m pretty sure I have more grey in my hair.
The next morning, Politifact said; “mostly lies,”
Yet little was heard from the voters but sighs.

’Twas a week before Christmas, and there on the screen
Were the Democrats taking their turn to be seen,
Although Saturday night was an odd time to pick
If you want a big audience. Was it a trick?
Is the DNC propping up Hillary’s chances?
Are Bernie’s staff looking with more than mere glances
At Hillary’s data? We’re more than just curious.
Bernie’s suspended! Supporters are furious!
Shake hands, say sorry, the issues are waiting.
The wealth of the whole middle class is abating,
And healthcare’s too costly, and good education
Has deeply indebted too much of the nation.
We must embrace Muslims, and silence the haters,
And maybe think hard before toppling dictators.
I listen, but still can’t envision O’Malley
With much of a chance in the great voter tally.
It’s hard to see Bernie in charge of our tanks,
And Hillary seems awful close to the banks.
At least I heard more here of logic and reason,
But voters are more focused now on the season.

’Tis a week until New Year’s, and all through the land
We are wondering how well our Christmas was planned:
Did we buy enough presents, and cook enough food?
Will the kids be excited? Will dinner be good?
I see Trump complaining there on the TV,
But he’ll get no apologies from Hillary,
And if Uncle Bob thinks that Ted Cruz is a winner,
There won’t be much peace at this holiday dinner.
Will Christmas just be a political fight?
Or can we have one day with no left and no right,
No conservatives, liberals, nut jobs or users,
No whiners or meanies, no winners or losers?
America, can we set one week aside?
On the first, we’ll be in for one hell of a ride,
For a year of attack ads, a year of divisions.
We have one week left. Let’s fill it with visions
Of one happy world full of laughter and cheer.
Happy Holidays, all! And get set for next year …

Poets Respond
December 25, 2015


Lorna Davis: “I saw that Rattle was hoping to see some lighter verse for Christmas, so I sat down this morning to see what I could come up with. Unfortunately, it’s not that hard to poke fun at our politics right now, but the poem brought itself to what seemed like an appropriate ending. Sometimes the rhymes take control, and lead to a place you didn’t know you wanted to go.”

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