I hold no brief for rapier use of wit
in cruel game, my intellect is sharp
but used for joy, for clarity of thought.
Guilty, I plead. I took the little boy
and put him in my sleigh, we raced the sun
which once it rose would melt the chip of ice
I’d pierced into his breast to keep him safe.
I sent my eagle to the spindled heights,
she saw no hue and cry, no quick pursuit.
And yet - the winds are mine, I bade them blow us
out of your dull jurisdiction, to the pole.
I wished to see his bright face in reflection
of mirrored icy shards of Northern Lights.

I offer precedents for my action –
the maiden Kore, stolen from her mother,
who then declared a winter without cease -
I took a youthful Baldur from his Nanna
For truly, isn’t he the new-born sun?
Then gave him back as gold in treetop aerie
the mistletoe you pluck as sign of peace.

You do not value my cold-fingered reason,
Make melancholy Chronos a buffoon -
Your oldest father turned into a Santa
My sleigh, my sacred reindeer, jingle tunes.

Did you forget that many seeds won’t quicken
unless they feel my icy breath a spell?
That north-east imbolc wind won’t feel so tender,
Your snowdrops won’t unfold without my chill
Don’t you recall that death is but a season,
My snowy shroud a necessary pall?
And winter’s air is needed for us all.

©2002, Geraldine Charles