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.
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.