The Spirit of Santa: A Recovery Poem


In her fiery amber eyes,

in her mind flooded with highways and traffic and restlessness,

an unspoken, yet irrevocably present question

burned her bitter core.


If Santa was real,

where was he?

Where was this jolly, cookie-loving

bearded old magician?


Her life was saturated with emptiness.

She didn’t believe in the

twinkling of the stars at twilight,

or the power of serene silence,

or Santa Claus for that matter.


Her underlying disbelief

thrived as she shrank.

She became color-blind,

magic-blind, life-blind,

accepting only the black

and the white.


But forever wasn’t

inscribed in her future.

The emptiness that

clouded her life

gave way to

sunnier skies and



Soon, she began to believe

in love after heartbreak,

in colored strokes after rain,

in purpose after anguish,

in life after death.


But her biggest discovery

came after recovery.

She stared out at the

vast, frosted world,

and her amber eyes opened.


Santa was metaphysical,

a spirit and powerful force,

found in every tiny act of

selflessness and gratitude

and catharsis.


Recovery was her Santa,

leaving wrapped gifts of

happiness and warmth

and acceptance and

roasted chestnuts.


Her Santa didn’t reward

without helpers, though.

To reap the benefits of

this altruistic spirit,

she became a reindeer

and an elf.


She worked harder

than she ever had before.

She wrapped presents

until her arms were sore.


But in the end,

her sincerest efforts

were reimbursed with

the greatest gifts of all.

Not money or

material, but

hope and life.


And if you ask

her now, if after

all these years she

still believes in magic,

she will undoubtedly

answer “of course.”


Simran BansalComment