Twas the Night Before a Swimming Holiday

Posted on December 23, 2009


Twas the night before a swimming holiday, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even Olympian Jeff Rouse.
The swimming fins were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Charlie soon would be there.

The swimmers were nestled all snug in their waterbeds,
While visions of Individual Medleys danced in their heads.
And Kevin in his Speedo, and I in my swim cap,
Had just settled in the lane for a long winter’s lap.

When out on the deck there arose such a splatter,
I sprang from the pool to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a fish,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sish (Yeah, I couldn’t really think of anything else.)

Like the blinding speed of Phelps, the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects of Joe.
When, what to my wandering eyes should appear,
But a miniature workout, and eight swim sets to fear.

With a little old driver, so hairy and gnarly,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Charlie!
More rapid than flying fish his Dolfins they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now Emily! Now, Takashi! Now, Paige and Matt!
On, Quinn! On, Jordan! On Kyle and Zak!
To the top of the block! To the top of the wall!
Now swim away! Swim away! Swim away all!” (Even Katha the German was with them.)

In outlawed suits that created fast Butterflies,
When they met with an obstacle, the swimmers mounted the sky.
So up to the house-top, the Dolfins they flew,
With an Excursion full of workouts, and St. Charlie too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The yawning and X-box playing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Charlie came with a bound (and a dryland workout, too—darn!).

He was dressed all in fur–naturally, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with blue and with soot.
A bundle of swimming equipment he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his swim sack.

His eyes-how they golf-balled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were Roses, his nose like an old fisherman drinking too much sherry!
His oversized mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin (or leftover food) was as white as the snow (or Matt Curby’s suit).

The thread of a zip-tie he held tight in his teeth,
And the equipment it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly (all true),
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly (also true)!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old swimmer,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of being another old swimmer!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the swim bags, then turned with a Charlie-like jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he Rose!

He sprang to his Excursion, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. (Umm, ok.)
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Swimming Holiday to all, and to all a good-night!”

Posted in: Swim Poetry