Mum’s Christmas Pet by Ellena Deeley

Mum’s Christmas Pet


I had come home a Christmas refugee

Or lost mongrel that had done the rounds.

You didn’t know whether to pet me 

Or watch for lice

As you rolled the ladle hard,

Smiled like half-price tinsel.

Voices in the little room flared

Like the LEDs of wires 

You hung in perfect symmetry 

Above a window-paint blizzard backdrop

That would flake off 

To bare the mountains

Like a double exposure.



You wanted to conjure The Spirit 

Of Christmas Past with a BBC recipe

For chocolate log –

A transubstantiation of oil and egg white 

And a 9 o clock showing of It’s a Wonderful Life

Into that fuzzy belly grin.

Wrapped in your pink plush holiday skin 

I spliced sticks of thin mint fondant 

Like a sweatshop elf,

Molded a dainty stag head 

From a palm full of Cadbury’s buttons.

I was pulling the brittle distance 

Between torso and hoofed limb,

Watching velvety eyes and horn’s spring

Up, one by one, from bog-like ooze 

Of thick ganache

Like the separate parts 

Of a mythic, chthonic, thing,

Surfacing from a primeval syrup-soup.

You said it was such a novelty

To have a sugary pet Rudolf

To prance on top of the desert.



Boxing day, the cake was chopped,

Bagged on the bottom shelf,

Next to the cheddar.


Ellena Deeley


I am a young working poet from Pontypridd South Wales and English Literature student at the University of Exeter. I have previously had my work published in the poetry webzine, Ink, Sweat & Tears and specially commended – coming in 11th place – in the 2012 Welsh Poetry Competition.


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