by Pam Tanzey
Santa comes quietly long before dawn
While shops are still busy and lights are still on
While dinners are simmering and kitchens are warm
And children count presents they'll open by morn.
He slips past the trees and the windows aglow
Through the gate to the back yard as icy winds blow
to find the pup that he brought last year chained
up in the snow and kneeling he whispers
"Are you ready to go?"
There are too many stops like this one tonight
Before the beginning of his regular flight
He leaves not a note or a footprint in sight
Just an unbuckled collar on a cold Christmas night.
This poem is won the Maxwell Award for Excellence in Poetry
in 1998 from the Dog Writers Association of America