Huge crates in cellophane were packed
Inside were cardboard boxes stacked
So tight, like sardines in a tin
Curious as always, I looked in.
Several pallets in a row
Stood in line, and soon would show
Their tawdry wares to children’s gaze
For St. Nicholas, it’s early days.
He’s edible in many guises
As Speculoos* in different sizes
Swathed in crinkly coloured wrap
The unwary parent to entrap!
The 6th, his feast day in December
But we are only mid-November
Who knows now from whence he came?
Turkey has this claim to fame.
4th century bishop down in Myra
In Lycia (that’s Asia Minor)
Of Christendom a much loved saint
Revered in icons and oil paint.
He holds small children in affection
But others also claim protection:
Pawnbrokers, merchants, those at sea
Enjoy Nicholas’s bonhomie!
What would he think now of his role
Linked so closely to Noël
His reputation quite subsumed
Reduced to chocolate – and consumed?
*Belgian spice biscuit
(c) Poet in the woods 2013