A Christmas Poem

Overtime for St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the room,
Not a person was stirring, full of feelings of doom,
The VGH list was curated with care,
In the hopes that each person didn’t have to be there.

The dispatchers were bored, all snug in their seats,
Most of them twitching from too many sweets,
With me in Tech Call Out and bored out of my mind,
We’d all settled in prepared for the late evening grind.

When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
We sprang from our chairs to see what was the matter,
We flew to the windows to see what was about,
And we lost seven calls because no one pressed auto out.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen rain,
We’re in Tennessee, do I have to explain?
So what did we see that would cause such elation,
But the arcing and sparking from the nearby substation.

Then pulled up a lineman, walking into the rain,
I knew in a moment it must be Corey Layne,
More rapid than eagles the other linemen they came,
He keyed up his radio and he called him by name.

“Hey Reggie, hey D.J., we’re needed tonight,
Hey Daniel, and Michael, it’s arcing, it’s a sight!
Let’s get to the station, let’s make all this right,
So the people in the valley have their power tonight!”

As leaves that before the wild tornado fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So into the substation the linemen they flew,
With three pickups of men, and a bucket truck, too!

And then, in a twinkling, I heard ‘cross the road,
The tools and equipment the men would unload,
I finally made it over, and as I watched all enthralled,
Saint Nicholas arrived (apparently he was on call).

He was dressed like a lineman, from his head to his toes,
He was checking his gloves, ’cause that’s how safety goes,
Coordinating with the linemen to keep everyone safe,
Especially with the job that they currently faced.

With a nod of his head and a wink of his eye,
His sign let me know that we soon would have lights,
He spoke not a word but went straight to his work,
Made repairs with the linemen, then turned with a jerk.

Then placing his hand on the side of his nose,
He pulled on a lever and the circuit did close,
The power came on and he went to his truck,
All of us and the linemen were wishing him luck.

Santa helped us have lights on this one Christmas Eve,
The children were happy, the parents, relieved,
But I heard him exclaimed as he left with a laugh,
“Three on call hours, triple time and a half!”


About Burt Kilgore

Burt Kilgore is an amateur writer, dispatcher, filmmaker, husband, father, and grandfather. You can find most of his work here, but he hopes that you will be able to pick up one of his stories in the future at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Audible.Com.

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