Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Visit to Rockville Fencing Academy

50 Southlawn Terrace
Midnight, Christmas Eve
Beneath a bright Polaris
All’s quiet on the second floor
(Since, alas, we lost the mouse…)
And peace reigns in the corridor

Down the darkened hall
Beyond the stern, foreboding sign
(“Halt! Past this point, only patrons of the salle”)
A shuffle, giggle, clomping and soft “hush!”
The lock jiggles, pauses, and gives way…
In tumbles a multi-colored and chaotic rush

It’s not just dear Saint Nick, it’s the whole crew
Halfway through their rounds
Their break is overdue
In quest of cookies they’ve set forth
(As Badger Bakery’s rep has spread
From Maryland to All Poles North)

They polish off the platter
(Salty Oat and Chocolate Chip)
Tidy up stray crumbs, begin to chat and natter
They’re almost ready to embark, but lo! Attention strays
To jackets, neatly hung upon the wall
To blades, brightly arrayed

The elves begin to shuffle and postpone,
Glance at the Boss, their eyebrows raised
He sighs, and checks his phone
Mentally parsing flight times to Ukraine
Then shrugs and gestures to the room, and…
Lets chaos reign

The reindeer joust, bellowing and snorting
Up and down the strips
Noses alight with every touch, cavorting
Red Green Red Green Red Green White
The scoring machine reprogrammed
To belt out “Silent Night”

Santa fences epee, relaxing from his toils
A big man bouncing lightly on his toes.
The elves grab thirty-two inch foils
--Jackets coming to their knees,
Masks to their belly buttons--
And demonstrate their expertise

When its time to re-engage his troupe
A thump of the katana and they freeze
Gather up the scattered gear and, lightning, they regroup
Snip! Snap! Slap! Everything is back in place
The foils racked, the jackets clean and pressed
The trash thrown out, each cup and stray shoelace

Lights out, door shut, the racket fades
All’s peaceful, none would ever know
Except…the jumbled stack of broken blades
Neglected by their warder
Are wired, taped and neatly stacked
In perfect working order

With courteous formality
A neatly lettered note
“Thanks for your hospitality”
From distant sky, a jolly voice belts out
“Merry Christmas everyone
And to all, good bouts!”

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