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Before Christmas

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the first reindeer
shipped North by boxcar from Lapland   
but a toy model
got there first.

A dwarf invented reindeer on his own.   
He was Santa’s favorite. He
hadn't known
they already existed.

This discouraged dwarf
was close to taking his life but
Santa showed up
encircled by snow.
He said, “I will use the real reindeer for my sled

always in yoke
to your original invention.”
That night the gears that turned the Pole   
and began to turn the other way,   
so it be so.

My love is a toy model waiting
for a reindeer to carry me.

Landis Everson, "Before Christmas" from Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005. Copyright © 2006 by Landis Everson. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press.
Source: Everything Preserved: Poems 1955-2005 (Graywolf Press, 2006)
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Before Christmas

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