Ode to a Quilter, by Gloria E. Webster (with apologies to Clement
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the housse
not a creature was stirring except a wee mouse
and Mama in her kerchief, still stitching away
to finish a quilt for the very next day.
"I've done one for Steve and one for sweet Sue.
There's one for young Paul and my Sarah, too.
If only I finish this last one tonight,
little Mary will surely cry with delight!"
Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
she jumped from her chair to see what was the matter.
"Now what's all that noise," she thought with a frown,
"I do hope the old chimney's not falling down!"
She peered out the window and what did appear
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer -
With a little spry driver, so lively and quick,
she knew it certainly was not old Saint Nick!
And in a twinkling she heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
Then down the chimney he came, dressed all in red.
She thought she was dreaming and still in her bed!
He was clad all in fur from his head to his foot
and he called out to her, "You should clean out that soot!"
"Clean out that soot? No time to sew?
Young man, you're crazy - now go, go, GO!
I must finish this quilt before the morning light.
I've been sewing all day and most of the night."
He danced as he worked, a right jolly old elf,
and she laughed as she watched him, in spite of herself.
Then he filled all the stockings from his patchwork sack.
It was stuffed to the brim and hung on his back.
He gave a quick nod and when he was through,
smiling at her, up the chimney he flew.
Dazed, she wondered if that really might be...
"No," she murmured, "my eyes are playing tricks on me."
And grimly she put needle to cloth once again.
"Next year, truly, on January First I'll begin,
no more sewing and quilting on the very last night.
These weird dreams are too much." Then she turned out the light.
"Yes, next year I'll be organized. I'll be done on time."
("Ho, ho," chortled Santa, "Seems I've heard that line.")
Now her quilts were all wrapped and under the tree;
Of course, not all were complete - it just couldn't be.
But tucked into two boxes were notes with this line:
"To be finished after Christmas - Mom ran out of time!"
And Santa was heard to exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Merry Christmas to all - and happy quilting each night!"