Monday, December 24, 2012

My 2012 Local Christmas Poem

This column originally appeared in the Sun Chronicle on Monday, December 24, 2012.

By Bill Gouveia

Christmas Eve is one of my favorite nights of the year.  After all, celebrating an evening where you expect a fat guy to drop by is right up my alley.  And like Santa, people pretend to be asleep when I come visiting.

            This is a day and a night for joy, reflection and celebration.  It is also the time I revive what has become something of my own personal Christmas tradition, offering up my stilted version of the famous yuletide poem “The Night Before Christmas”.  I know you’ve all been waiting breathlessly since last year.  Well, maybe not all of you.

            So once again with never-ending apologies to Clement Moore (and my thanks to our local governments and officials), I give you the latest local political version of the greatest of all Christmas poems:

T’was the night before Christmas, and the political scene
Seemed to be quiet, though not quite serene.
In Attleboro, Councilors met and ate Christmas cookies
While rehashing arguments from both Veggies and Bookies.

The taxpayers were settled all snug in their beds,
While nightmares of fiscal cliffs danced in their heads.
Your esteemed local columnist was preparing to rest
And soon would be snoring away with great zest.

Then from the front yard there came a big boom
That rattled the house and shook every room.
I ran out the front door and stifled a yawn,
Amazed at what rested upon my front lawn.

The moonlight was reflecting off the newly fallen snow,
As workers on overtime plowed the white streets below.
When suddenly, plummeting down through the night
Was a sleigh with five people engaged in a fight.

They were arguing and griping, and disciplining their elves.
They were Seekonk selectmen (they never blame themselves).
They were delivering presents for towns nearby,
They were running very late, but they still had to try.

Their gifts to North Attleboro were supposed to be free,
But everything there now comes with a fee.
They left a few presents and a very warm greeting,
And tried reducing the size of Representative Town Meeting.

When they hit Plainville they made it a point
To fly over the site of the proposed gambling joint.
Over Wrentham and Norfolk they continued to soar
As through the still night their complaining did roar.

Norton’s present was a school boss who really might stay,
And finally those search committees can just go away.
The selectmen’s present was nothing to fear -
They’ll  go to New York for UN Day next year.

In Mansfield, Comcast Center gets a new sold-out show
Featuring Dentino and Montgomery just rarin’ to go.
A true gift would be a year with no more tragic losses,
But that requires cooperation between all of the bosses.

An area democrat as state rep was past due,
So they gave Attleboro citizens new Rep. Paul Heroux.
Our other state reps got a gift for their quirk –
They get per diem payments just for going to work.

Sen. Scott Brown was not the voter’s selection,
So his gift is – yes, yet another election.
For Rep. Frank, who chose not to run,
It’s a retirement of torturing Republicans for fun

Their stop in Rehoboth was very, very brief -
Selectmen have stopped handing out as much grief.
Some see that as town government starting to snooze,
They have let Seekonk take over as the town in the news.

They saw me and considered just running me down,
Then settled for glaring, and a serious frown.
In executive session, they then took a vote
To totally ignore anything I ever wrote.

They finished their deliveries (the DPW was last),
And headed home to reminisce of Christmas’s past.
But I heard them exclaim as they rode out of sight,
“There’s Bingo at the Senior Center tonight!”

Merry Christmas, good readers. 

Bill Gouveia is a local columnist, town official, husband, parent, grandfather, and terrible poet.  He wishes you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and can be reached at

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