Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pear Trees

The Wednesday prompt over at Poetic Asides was to write a poem having to do with a receipt of some kind.  Here's my take (well, one of them actually) that has a sort of Christmas spin.  And apologies to whomever may have actually written the song The Twelve Days of Christmas, since authorship is not really known, despite the fact, per Wikipedia, that "The copyright to this arrangement was registered in 1909 and is still active by its owners, Novello & Co. Limited."

  (Graphics courtesy of NorCal  blogs)

Pear Trees and Such – A Christmas Shopping Tale

I looked at the printed slip I was handed,
and wondered, how from two things, it expanded
to twelve categories, I didn’t recall
buying at Costco.  Oh no, not at all.

What in the heck do I do with a tree
and a partridge who sits there, just gawking at me?
And…no! There’s three hens who are labeled, ‘FROM FRANCE.’
My weary cashier then throws me a glance.

“Move off from the line.  More people await
me scanning their stuff.  If you want to debate
an error which lurks somewhere in your bill,
see Customer Service right there, if you will.”

I nod and I move away from the queue,
And I glance in my cart - at some turtle doves.  TWO!
And four calling birds?!  This is such a mess.
How they landed in my cart is anyone’s guess.

I wouldn’t have minded a trinket or such,
but pricey new jewelry?  That’s really too much.
How do I explain these additional things
to my husband. He’ll yell at me, “FIVE golden rings??!!!”

“But it wasn’t my fault!”  I will try to explain.
Then, my husband will tell me, “You are quite insane.
No way are we keeping this odd merchandise.
Not even if it was a good price.”

But back in the store…

While I gave some thought to this baffling question,
my cart began rocking in a crazy jam session!
Six geese were a-honking.  The swans did ‘the swim.’
Eight maids brought out cow juice – both whole and some skim.

Nine ladies were dancing, I think a quadrille,
and kept up their toe taps. That is, right until
ten lords started leaping.  I thought – RiverDance!
Then Partridge joined in with those three hens from France.

Six customers ran straight on to my cart
to see the commotion, right in Costco mart.
Most thought it très cool, ‘though one guy was griping,
‘til eleven pipers popped up and started their piping.

“Oh, bless my soul,” the cranky man said.
“I once was a piper, but now I’m, instead,
an accountant.  It pays more that tooting a horn.
But I should have stuck with it, or so I’d have sworn.”

The pipers and milkmaids agreed, one and all,
he should try it again – ‘cause it was such a ball.
This party’s for FUN.  And then, WHOOSH!  Something more...
twelve jazzy-jazz drummers appeared in the store.

Christmas songs were soaring straight up to each rafter
with pipes, drums and honks, amid cheers and much laughter.
And I – I decided to stick my receipt
right into my wallet, preserved nice and neat

in order to reconcile my cash account later,
but right at this minute?  ‘Twas music the-ater!
Then…just when this joint was beginning to hop
with birds, trees and rings – it all came to a … STOP.


I looked all around me.  The scene had – poof! – vanished
as if some mean king-dude had said, “Y’all are banished!”
No piper or leaper or dancer or hen
was fete-ing in Costco.  So scary!  But when

I pulled out my paper, from inside my bag,
and scanned it and searched it, I wanted to gag.
Instead of those weird things, it looked like it oughta –
just listing some gift wrap and a case of spring water.

As if none of this happened, the twelve things were now gone.
No partridge was gawking at me, and thereon,
I wondered – O Christmas - where did it all go?
‘Then, my cashier winked at me and said, “Ho!  Ho!  Ho!”


  1. Love this, RJ. Tweeted a link to it! :)

    Much fun!

  2. Wow! Nevets - you rock! (And I really gotta get back to following on Twitter, huh?) ☼