Stetson at his feet, replaced
by jaunty crimson Santa cap,
buzzard feather black in the band,
the old cowboy clangs his bell
in front of the bank.
Arm pumping up and down
he beams through gaps in his teeth,
points at the red kettle.
He wishes customers a happy holiday.
Over the brass tones of the bell
his rich baritone voice rises,
sings the first lines
of "Joy to the World."
Exiting the bank a rancher
trim in new jeans and leather vest
supplies the words in bass
when the Salvation Army man
sputters la la la.
Spattered with sawdust and manure
a ranch hand squeals his pickup
to a stop, jumps out, adds
his wavering tenor to the mix.
Inside three tellers roll eyes
and smile, slide their sopranos
with Christmas dollars
across the counter.
This poem first appeared in InDaily News, Adelaide, Australia (2012).
Used here with the authorís permission.