By Donna Fitzgerald

Engineer of a model train
‘neath an evergreen ever slain
In celebration of the pain
And all the ghosts of Christmas
Multi-colored blinking lights
any town’s electric eyes
Search the branches for the skies
In hope of Father Christmas
Monolith of packages
Contradicts the scene
Engineer, as every year, running out of steam
The station’s location
A sugar plum dream
Faux snow covered depot
Is not what it seems
There’s a green plastic soldier
Where the brakeman should be
The manger is empty
The wise men deceived
By a cardboard cutout on 34th street
There’s a reindeer stand-in for the camel
There’s a souvenir saltshaker sheep
The whistle stop
Red and white striped enamel
Matchbox getaway car for the thief
All the people come over
From the game of life
They heard through the steeple
That all is not right
Someone from the real world
Has turned on a light
The engineer, our hero is seen
Screeching to a standstill
To the screams
Of the disillusioned children who arrive on the scene
Eyes wide open with disbelief
At the blood on the crossing
Blood on the sleeves
Of the man playing Santa
The one they believe
Directing the passengers
Jerked from their sleep
Pack up your spirits
Pick up your feet
This train goes no further
Than the DMZ.