‘Twas the Night Before Release Day
By Linda Bond
‘Twas the night before my first book release,
when all thro’ the house
Not a family member was stirring
not even my spouse.
Tomorrows Facebook posts were filed on my desktop with care,
In hopes that new readers would soon become aware;
My children were nestled iPhones next to them in bed,
while visions of Amazon’s top 100 danced in my head
Lounging in sweat pants, my hair under a cap -
I hoped wine would settle my brain for a nap.
When out on the pool deck there arose such a clatter,
I jumped from my desk to see what was the matter.
Away to the back door I flew in a beat.
Threw open the door and stepped back from the heat.
The new moon splashed light on the back yard expanse.
The summer wind moving the palm trees in dance.
When, what to my tired eyes did appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.
With a fat jolly driver all dressed in red,
red t-shirt – red shorts – red hat on his head?
I knew at that moment I must really be drunk.
Or sadly over anxious, falling into a funk.
Had I done all the right things to make my book a success?
What was I missing? Would tomorrow be a mess?
More rapid than lightning, his reindeer they landed
The big man jumped out while his small team disbanded.
Like he could read my mind, he sprang onto my deck.
I jumped back, put my hands out, thinking, "What the heck?"
His eyes how they twinkled – with knowledge, I think.
His nose was all cherry – maybe he’d like a drink?
Before I could ask Santa, “Why are you here?
With all those North Pole reindeer?"
He smiled, and laughed, his belly jiggling like Jell-O
And I knew in an instant he was a good fellow.
Then he spoke, his voice deep, like afternoon thunder.
His words raining down flooding me with wonder.
“Ms. Bond, I came here to see only you.
To make sure you understand what I came here to do.
To deliver your present, I traveled across the sky.
To give you a lesson – give you Christmas in July.”
“A lesson? Why Santa, I thought you did toys.
For babies and toddlers, good girls and good boys.”
“I bring you a gift so you can finally get sleep,
A present and a message I hope you will reap.
Your gift as a writer is making others disappear,
for an hour, for a day, for even a year,
into a world they can relax in – feel love - maybe escape.
You bring joy, elicit tears, a difference you make.
By giving of yourself, you have already received
the greatest gift I could wrap, deliver, or achieve.
So, stop all this nonsense about lists and number one,
and remember you got into this just to have fun.”
Then he handed me a box – a twinkle in those wise eyes.
He turned and reloaded, took off for the sky.
When I opened that box - only one thing inside.
A printed copy of my first book Alive at 5
I fought back the tears ‘cause I knew he was right.
Here I was still awake in the middle of the night,
worried about a day that had yet to dawn
when I had already had tons of real fun.
I finished that wine, tears still in my eyes.
As his sleigh blended in with the stars in the sky.
But, I swear he exclaimed as he rode out of sight,
Happy release day to all, and to all a good write.
Alive at 5 is available at: