Donna Tavano: Bright Lights

On Santa’s last practice run ‘round the world

He lost his poor Rudolph as excitement swirled.


So back through the stars old Santa flew

With reindeer and sleigh and the whole elf crew.


He headed toward Mass-a-chu-setts, they called it,

For it was the last place his sled had hauled it.


He hoped the glow from his little friend’s nose

Would guide him to its color of rose.


But the fog was thick as chowdah that night

And nothing showed up looking too bright.


'Til off to the East, Santa spied a warm light,

On a small hook of sand showing up in the night.


He drove the sled close to the beachy scene

And brightness shone out like a Star Wars beam.


He zeroed in on three towns with an aura

Sure to find Rudolph in flower or fauna.


But the places so bright, so happy, so merry

Gave only great bogs of the red cranberry.


If this glow wasn’t Rudolph’s guiding light

What caused it, he thought, as he took in the sight?


He landed right on Main Street, he did,

Where he spotted the ladies, the men and the kids.


There were Girl Scouts and Daisies, and Boy Scouts and Cubs,

Selling gifts they had made, and some really great grub!


They were donating money to give a treat

To the folks who had no food or heat.


Then he saw Angel Fund ornaments sold

To donate to charity, he was told.


The Chronicle’s Helping Fund sought donations

As fire and police collected toys at their stations.


The Family Pantry provided good meals

All completely free and hearty deals.


Brax Landing gave a free dinner each year

To fill hungry bellies and spread wonderful cheer.


The churches, so many, ran thrift shops and more.

The dollars raced in for the needy and poor.


At Hot Stove you always had to pay cash,

Credit card money, instead, made a splash.


For scholarships and really good causes

Right up the alley of Santy Clauses.


Firefighters in Chatham plunged into cold water

In April, getting money to help the sick (like we oughter’.)


Lower Cape Outreach and Monomoy

Helped oldsters and youngsters with hearts full of joy.


And students from Harwich and Chatham and Orleans

Recycled and worked hard to help those in times lean.


Friends groups cleaned beaches and bike trails and parks,

The garden clubs’ plantings hit just the right mark.


Houses from Habitat sprang up here and there

The Artist Guild sold ornaments for the Children's Center with flair.


Even the animals were given a hand

From the efforts of Wildcare and the Sampson Fund band.


But still, no Rudolph, just all this light glowing

Where could he be, Santa’s thoughts flowing…


Then he noticed a red glow in Harwich Port town

And followed it past George's Pizza, and down


Just a bit, where he saw something to see

In a new shop that’s coming called Reciprocity.


No things for sale yet, but in calm and in peace,

A crèche that was living, made of fur, hair and fleece.


The creatures and people so quiet that night,

And nestled within them was Rudolph’s bright light.


So Santa, complete with all members, took flight,

To ready themselves for that really big night.


He thought, with a heart warmed by what he had seen

These towns sure know what this season means.


And he couldn’t resist as he soared out of sight

Exclaiming, “ Happy Holiday to all…keep making bright light!”