With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore
It was the fight before Christmas. In the Senate and House,
No creature was stirring. Not even a louse,
For the lobbyists all hung their heads by the stairs:
Not an aide, not a page, nobody was there.
The Congressional Reps had all headed for home,
Aching in spirit, cut to the bone;
Except some of those folk who’d been put out to pasture,
Who hollered for joy that it no longer mattered
That party-line towing put men out of work,
Or craven submission to this or that jerk
At the head of the caucus, whichever they heeded,
Gave citizens all things – except what they needed.
“For the price on the border, the Government’s shut!”
The media cried. Me, I went to my hut,
Puzzling, wondering, if on the morrow
There’d be anything Fed’ral to buy, beg, or borrow
When out by the street – a bang and a crash!
And I rushed to the scene to find out what a hash
Whatever was banging had made out of things,
And if I could stop it before it could bring
On a headache. Alas! When I came and I saw,
The spectre fore’er will be stuck in my craw.
A fat, bearded elf was there, making that racket.
He was building a wall! And on it a bracket,
On which he intended to stand and be seen,
To gesture and sign, to pose and to preen.
He looked just like Santa! But dressed all in blue
(“Red? In this climate? It simply won’t do!”
He said to me later.) And embossed on his chest,
Letters faded and cracked. They looked like “Resist!”
But I couldn’t be sure, they were so broken down.
He then caught me staring, and said with a frown,
“Can I help you with something?” I said, “Yes you may,
If you mean by this building to enter the fray,
To shout down this furlough and stop all the madness,
And bring Christmas joy again, instead of sadness!”
“Not a chance!” the elf laughed. He tried for “Ho, ho!”
But it came out a cackle. “Dear sir, must I show
That the time for such acts ended long, long ago;
That any who meant it were bought off with money,
And are now making hay while they can, while it’s sunny;
And all of the rest do it just for display,
To show off to their buddies. Just like me, if I may!”
With that, the old elf turned away, poured his wine,
Sat down on his platform, announced “This is fine!”
His voice caught and galled me as I tromped out of sight:
“Happy Furlough to all! Hail Shutdown! Good night!”