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DECEMBER SUBSTITUTE
by Kenn Nesbitt

Our substitute is strange because
he looks a lot like Santa Claus.
In fact, the moment he walked in
we thought that he was Santa’s twin.

We wouldn’t think it quite so weird,
if it were just his snowy beard.
But also he has big black boots
and wears these fuzzy bright red suits.

He’s got a rather rounded gut
that’s like a bowl of you-know-what.
And when he laughs, it’s deep and low
and sounds a lot like “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

He asks us all if we’ve been good
and sleeping when we know we should.
He talks of reindeers, sleighs, and elves
and tells us to behave ourselves.

And when it’s time for us to go
he dashes out into the snow.
But yesterday we figured out
just what our sub is all about.

We know just why he leaves so quick,
and why he’s dressed like Old Saint Nick
in hat and coat and boots and all:
He’s working evenings at the mall.

“December Substitute.” appears in Kenn Nesbitt’s collection When the Teacher Isn’t Looking (Meadowbrook Press, 2005), available at Amazon.com.

PHOTO: Actor Donald Sutherland as a teaching Santa Claus (Worth1000.com, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED).

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kenn Nesbitt is the author of numerous books of poetry for children, including The Armpit of Doom: Funny Poems for Kids (2013), The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World (2011), The Tighty-Whitey Spider (2010), Revenge of the Lunch Ladies (2007), Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney (2006), When the Teacher Isn’t Looking: And Other Funny School Poems (2005), and The Aliens Have Landed at Our School! (2001). Nesbitt’s poems have appeared in hundreds of anthologies, magazines, and textbooks worldwide. His website, Poetry4kids, is an online “Funny Poetry Playground” that features poems, lessons, games, and poetry-related activities. He currently lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife, children, and pets. (Source: poetryfoundation.org)