Leo's Christmas


Leo was a lion cub. His mood was sad and grim.

All year long he'd been so good!

He'd done the things a good cub should!

And yet he felt the odds were slim

that Santa would have gifts for him.

Leo lived inside a den. It was a comfy space.

There was a Christmas tree and wreath,

but who would put the gifts beneath

the tree? The tears ran down his face

to think there was no fireplace!

Leo read it in a book. He knew it must be true.

It's down through chimneys Santa glides

on all his famous Christmas rides,

so Leo knew, or thought he knew,

his dreams of Christmas gifts were through.

Leo cried himself to sleep. It simply wasn't fair!

Why should he wake to empty paws?

He slept. In tip-toed Santa Claus.

No chimney? Why should Santa care?

He left a bunch of presents there.

Leo woke on Christmas morn. He saw beneath the tree

a bunch of boxes topped with bows

and wondered, "Who do you suppose

those gifts are for?" Then cried, "Yippee!

They're gifts from Santa Claus to me!"

Leo learned a lesson then which made him grin and grin: Though Santa does like chimneys, true, if you are good a door will do, and Santa Claus, through thick and thin, will always manage to get in.


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Willis Barnstone Translation Prize

I am co-winner of the 2019 Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. My winning translation was of a German poem/song by Leo Strauss called "The Village of As Though." Apart from the honor, the win earns me

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