The Years Without a Santa Claus

a decaying sestina, after Lawrence Schimel

The Years Without a Santa Claus

by L.M. Cole

I stopped believing in Santa when I was young, relatively.
There was no unwrapped betrayal, no truth sprung cruel.
One day I just grew out of a faith in magic.
I never mourned my transition away from hopeful child.
There are finalities in life that blur in memory.
Some day, we put away our childish things, our childhood beliefs. 

But, The Year Without A Santa Claus has always encouraged belief.
It’s a movie I’ve watched for years, alone, with friends, with relatives.
It’s one Christmas movie I’ve never let slip from memory.
For fifty minutes every December, I can forget time’s cruelty.
I can recapture some of the magic I trusted in as a child. 

The movie feels different at this age, changed from my childhood.
It spins the same hopeful message, but now I’m more jaded, less a believer.
The world has moved me along a dimmer path, colder and more cruel.
I’m more miser than romantic, caught in the chill of relative

Hopelessness. The world is cruel. Santa said it then. I can relate.
The world is terrifying, but Santa asks us to remain dreamers - childlike.
Maybe because dreaming is one of the only places safe from cruelty. 

One day, I stopped believing in Santa, and wonder slipped away cruelly.
For fifty minutes every December, I feel a hint of hope, a lightness, relatively.

Now the movie speaks to me differently. Santa would rather stay home. Relatable. 

L.M. Cole is a poet and artist residing in North Carolina. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming with The Pinch Journal, The McNeese Review, CLOVES, JAKE, Stanchion and others. For more information visit