A Holiday Poem from ARC

Each year, American Reading Company’s Rick Michael shares one of his poems with with us about the holidays, reading, and ARC. It’s one of our favorite traditions.

I settled in bed, clearing my head, looking forward to some much-needed rest.

But as I started nappin’, some strange things started to happen, with results that I would never have guessed.

I awoke in the warehouse, it was late XMAS eve. That’s when I saw something I just could not believe. There was a flurry of movement underneath a bookshelf And as I crept closer I saw one little elf He paid me no mind, not a glance nor a look As he sat on the floor, intently reading a book And there were eight tiny reindeer tied at the end of the rows With another beside them who had a shiny red nose And off to my right if my eyes weren’t deceiving Was a sleigh full of toys on the dock in Receiving As I snuck to my desk I saw in the rows by 2 Yellow Dressed all in fur, it was that jolly old fellow He gave me a nod, said “Merry XMAS to you Rick” I waved and acknowledged “Right back atcha Saint Nick” Then he said to his helper “That’s enough for tonight” “We must be leaving, we must now take flight” “Rick, please thank all the employees for the work that they’ve done. They’ve performed it with style, dedication and fun. Among all reading companies, you folks are the leaders. You’ve turned all of my elves into fabulous readers. But now we must leave, we must go right this minute”. So they ran to their sleigh and they both piled in it. As they flew off the dock and the sleigh turned around A single sheet of paper fluttered down to the ground Then they were gone in an instant with a nod of his head And the next thing I knew I awoke in my bed.

Today as I drove through the fresh morning haze I thought “If I speak of this dream folks will think that I’m crazy” But as I came up the path in the new morning fog I saw a sheet of paper on the ground printed “MY READING LOG” When I looked at it closer I just laughed to myself Because printed on top was the name “XMAS ELF”. But the rest of the log was what caused me to pause It was signed on each line “Reading Coach, Santa Claus”

Now I don’t really know if my dream became real All I can relate is how it made me feel It brought back strong memories of those times in my youth When the magic of the season would outshine the truth But whether in life we ever see elves The important thing is how we believe in ourselves. For we all perform magic, we do it each day In the work that we do and the things that we say. Just think when you sit in your times of reflection Of the number of lives we’ve now pointed in a brand new direction. So let’s make a vow on this day in December To make 2012 a year to remember We can all change the world, we can make it better We can accomplish a lot if we all work together Because a tree grows from a seed when it fulfills its ambition But forests will flourish when they unite in their mission So let’s give it our all and go to any lengths To show that diversity is just one of our strengths Now in closing, I again offer my holiday greeting “HAPPY NEW YEAR to all and to all HAPPY READING”

Rick Michael

Rick Michael is the shelving/receiving manager and poet-in-residence at American Reading Company.

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