Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring except for a mouse

Enthralled by a freelancer glued to her chair

On deadline, dejected and filled with despair.


The publishers offices, empty of editors,

Partied at noon, unworried by creditors, 

While the owner, uncaring, was named King of Predators.


The freelancer cried at her terrible plight,

The words had stopped flowing, she faced a long night,

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,

She rose from her chair to see what was the matter.


When what to her wondering eyes should appear

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a guy at the helm in a cool velvet suit

With an armload of books and computer to boot.    


He downloaded everything, then with a grin,

Said, “Enter a contest and surely you'll win!”

The reindeer ascended, the sleigh pierced the night

Until all the visitors were out of sight. 


But the writer was Scrooged, doubly so as she’d signed

A contract so heinous her colleagues all whined.

So even with Santa and all of her wits,

She decided a freelancer's life is the pits.  


© 2008 Barbara Florio Graham

This poem won First Prize in the Ottawa Independent Writers' annual Christmas contest