We didn’t have a chimney.
It presented a problem.
I wanted a chimney
To prove the con was on.
They said to me Santa would come
Down the chimney,
Of course they were lying
There was no santa even if there was a chimney
I was sitting in the lounge
And told my father about the chimney
“There won’t be a santa , because there isn’t one”
Council houses, I knew, had no chimney.
Boring fables on TV
And Christmas came with its glitter
At least there were the cartoons
Dad tapped me. “You have a present. Go see.”
In our beaten up little flat
On the mat of the corridor
A parcel, too big for the letter box
Leaned up on the white door
Twenty years later I bought him a hat
Put it on his head and beamed
His white beard gleaming away
He was still Santa Claus after all.
By Ali. A. Naqvi