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’Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the town,
Not a merchant was open; they’d all been locked down.

Of course, in the city, just miles away,
The big box stores took all their profits today.

“’Tis ScIeNce!” the man at the podium said,
“You’ll do well to listen before we’re all dead.”

So I pulled the string tight on my N95,
determined as hell I’d be staying alive.

This virus, it seems, has a curious trait –
it sleeps during lunch but comes out very late.

That’s why, after nightfall, the bars must stay closed,
The ‘Rona is clever, as everyone knows.

So ma in her kerchief, and I in my mask,
we both settled down for a quite daunting task.

To whittle down numbers, as we had been told,
For holiday gatherings must be well-controlled.

No more than ten persons, or maybe it’s five?
It’s hard to know how to keep family alive.

Who stays on the list, which one gets the stroke?
If I knew any better I’d think it a joke.

Which zone are we in? I don’t know anymore.
Last week it was three, maybe next week it’s four.

See, this here is no laughing matter, my friend.
So ma took a quill and this message she penned:

“Dear daughter, and family, it pains us to say,
For Christmas this year you must all stay away.

There’s plague in the air, going ‘round undetected.
It’s so bad you might not know you are infected.

So wish as we may, and wish as we might,
in order to follow the bylaws just right,

We’ve room just for three guests, and your family’s four,
So we’re having your brother, his kids, and no more.”

I guess you could say THAT went over like lead,
but it’s better than winding up ventilate-dead.

So I wrapped up the presents, Purell-sprayed them down,
I pulled on my mask and I headed to town.

Stayed socially distant the best that I could,
And rounded the sidewalk where daughter’s house stood.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a squad of eight cruisers, police in full gear.

And as I drew closer, my eyes became wide,
Four brave officers held my daughter outside.

“Wait, what is her crime?, I shouted at one.
“This gal’s got a party of six going on!”

I looked round the left, and spotted the snitch,
her mask was pulled tight and she cackled, the witch.

“Be kind, wear a mask”, her lawn sign displayed.
“What kindness is this, you despicable maid!”

“They could have Zoom Christmas; they’ve put me in danger!”
This whole thing was just getting stranger and stranger.

How could it be thus, that with five all is well,
but six is a hazard? What gives, bloody hell?

I threw off my mask and I stomped on it hard,
My first thoughts of logic, they caught me off guard.

How could I have bought into all of their lies,
and failed to see what was right before my eyes.

This isn’t about safety, this isn’t good science.
These measures seem more about fearful compliance.

Those clowns and their minions, once cameras are off,
they break their own rules – at us peasants, they scoff.

Why, they’re likely dining like grand viceroys
while telling us all to be good girls and boys.

“We’re here to protect you, whatever the cost!” –
No matter the pain and the livelihoods cost.

They’ve preyed on our good will and stoked needless fears,
Then stood there while crying their crocodile tears.

“We’re in this together, just do as you’re told!”,
Then move the damn goalposts – it’s getting quite old.

Two weeks, they declared, to help flatten the curve!
Two weeks – yeah, MY ASS! At nine months that’s some nerve.

I followed the cruisers right into the station,
I bailed out my girl and I paid her citation.

“You’re coming to my house,” I said with chagrin.
That is, if ma lets ME, with no mask, come in.

She laughed and she cried, and showed me her phone –
The whole thing recorded by neighbour Jim’s drone.

See, he was the one with the “No lockdowns” sign,
The kind that I once thought had clean lost his mind.

His sheer lack of fear, which had always annoyed,
Now looked more like courage with wisdom alloyed.

By now ma had seen it, and all the town too,
and by Christmas Eve, our home was a zoo.

We sang and we partied like 2019,
the best gosh-darn party this family has seen.

Children sleeping beside Christmas tree with presents and Christmas lights

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