Was it just for joy
That he pulled the sleigh
From the rafter of the shed that day?
Leaving wife abed
Early Saturday
To be on his way.

Was it just for joy
That he found the track
In the sagging spot in the fence out back?
Crunching hard-cap snow
Past the tamarack
He was going back.

Had it been this crisp
In a former time?
Had the sculptured ridge been this hard to climb?
Had the cardinal sung
In three-quarter time?
Then, when in his prime?

They would pick up speed
As the hill drew near.
Yes, and once right there they had spotted deer.
And perhaps a crow
Would announce, "They're here!"
My, the view was clear.

Then the reckless rush
To the vale below;
As the sleigh would hiss o'er the yielding snow.
And their breath would steam
In the upward tow.
They had loved it so.

Was it just for joy
He had come again?
To their Matterhorn, to their Crystal Glen?
To rehearse a play
Staged for little men,
But it's half-past ten!

Was it just for joy?
Or a missing boy?


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