Based on a True Story

by John Hertz: A seasonal poem.

Strange that I’ve become
A red-suited man with deer;
Nothing of Myra;
Truth to tell (what else?) I love
A time folk rejoice and give.

An acrostic (read down the first letters of each line) in 5-7-5-7-7-syllable form like Japanese tanka.  Santa Claus is in origin Nicholas (270-343), Bishop of Myra, then part of Greece, today part of Turkey; “Santa” is saint, “Claus” is Nicholas – I’d better not call it a nickname.  Stockings before the fireplace, and gifts that appear in them, are part of his story.  He died on December 6th.  Naturally he tells the truth, he’s a saint.