by Roland King
A Judge's entry poem for December's Dark Dreamscapes Poetry Contest
|"Yes, father, I will take thy vow."
Head intoned and hands outstretched to receive the
gifts of the father,
the child waits.
Krampus, the father, needs rest.
Like the jolly, round-bellied, cola-drinking
counterpart often revered and wanted, he too
works the exhaustive shift of Christmas Eve.
No one reveres him. But his Machiavellian
side finds comfort in being feared rather than
loved. Yet there is one person whose love he
did once desire.
And her eyes now glow from the tiny boy's standing
No hooves and only the tiny nubs of horns protrude
from his forehead. He also has the delicate almond shape
of his mother's face. Hands that are not yet calloused
by the work that shall be his life.
He rests the switch in the hands of his son,
so often that which leaves welts upon the wicked,
those children of sin,
will now be held by the child so pure of heart
that a tear trickles from the eye of Krampus.
But it is time to pass on the duty to this child,
whose bones will warp and twist, whose horns will grow,
whose back will ache from the centuries of toil and torture.
This duty will change his son to a bearded and harsh individual
who will see the world from a viewpoint of those that are wicked
and those that are not quite so wicked. No longer will the glass be half full
for this child.
He sighs, as his son's delicate fingers close around the switch.
Regret crosses the father's face, while a glow of eagerness
comes across the son's.
Brutality, punishment, and authority are his new toys. Yet he
will always have his mother's eyes.