‘Twas the Bike before Christmas
by P. R. Van Buskirk
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through our house
Not a creature was sleeping, not even my spouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with screws.
(If you can’t find the nails, what else do you use?)
The children were restless, awake in their beds,
While visions of spanking them danced in our heads.
I worked in my bathrobe. My husband, in jeans,
Had gone down to the den with directions and dreams
To assemble a bike that came in small pieces
With deflated tires and fenders with creases.
Soon down in the den there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my task to see what was the matter.
Away to my husband I flew like a flash;
He was shuffling through cardboard; his actions were rash.
The bike on the rug by this now flustered Dad
Soon gave me a hint as to why he was mad.
He needed a kickstand. It had to be near.
I shuffled some papers – he saw it appear!
We twisted the screws; we were lively and quick,
And we soon knew assembly would be quite a trick.
Fast as eagles in flight the pieces were found,
And he whistled and shouted for parts all around:
“Now socket! Now pedal! Now tires! Now brakes!
On handles! On kickstand! On horn! … oh… but wait!”
In the top of the toolbox, he fumbled around;
“I need two more screws!” he said with a frown.
And like all good parents determined to please
When they meet with an obstacle late Christmas Eve,
We shouted and yelled some complaints to each other.
There was never more frustrated father and mother!
And then, in a panic, we heard on the stairs
The prancing and hopping of feet… ’bout two pairs!
I opened the door and was turning around,
When kids burst from the hall with a leap and a bound.
They were dressed all in flannel, from their necks to their knees,
And their nightgowns were soiled with sugar and cheese!
Excuses poured forth from each pair of lips;
They stood in defiance with hands on their hips.
Their eyes were wide open, and each little child
Jumped when I yelled with a voice hardly mild.
They were frightened but cute, though much bigger than elves,
And we laughed when we saw them, in spite of ourselves.
A wink of the eye and a pat on the head
Soon let them both know they had nothing to dread.
They saw not a thing but went straight to their beds,
And we finished the bike and put bows on the sleds.
Then wheeling the bike by the tree (out of sight),
My hubby announced we should call it a night.
He sprang to his bed, to the clock gave a whistle,
As the time had flown by like a large Titan missile.
But I heard him exclaim as he turned out the light,
“Merry Christmas, my dear, but next year NO BIKE!”