’Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the school
There were no festive movies, for that was the rule;
The SLT hung in the hallways like Scrooge,
In hopes that the data improved with their mood;
The children were slumped all forlorn in their seats
While iPhones distracted from learning of Keats;
And teachers in novelty sweaters looked merry
But in reality longed for a strong pint of sherry,
When around every room there arose lots of chatter,
Inboxes pinged wildly… what was the matter?
From out of their places some children did dash
As if Santa were doling out bundles of cash;
The protests of teachers – they fell on deaf ears,
All anyone wanted was an end to this year;
Huddled by windows, eyes looked to the sky,
“Radiator is cold!” came a promising cry;
Emails were checked to confirm it was true:
Yes, the heating was broken and snowfall was due.
School had to close early, it was time to go home,
And the corridors took on a different tone:
“Now Archie! Now Gemma! Now Reuben and Vicki!
Oh Aisha! Oh Ranjeet! Oh Donna and Ricky!
Don’t forget to revise! Stop acting the fool!
Now that’s it from me. Go! Dash away all!”
The forecast snowflakes were nowhere to be seen,
And nor was a person of less than sixteen;
Off to their houses the students they flew
And adults relaxed with a much-needed brew;
Classrooms were silent, the staff room was raucous,
Holidays beckoned, Yuletide stretched before us.
As I put on my coat, and was turning around,
Through the door Mr Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed in his overalls, sooty and dirty
Quite young for a janitor, possibly thirty;
A mug of hot coffee he had in his hand,
Yet he’d come from the playground where hot drinks were banned;
His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
He’d been up to something mischievous – very!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
To give the impression of pure driven snow;
But the grin on his face, he was fooling no-one,
What was he up to, this son of a gun?
His whiskers, they bristled and danced when he laughed,
Though what was so funny? I was feeling the draught.
The pipes needed fixing. The big freeze was coming.
Yet this jolly elf, he was casually humming!
A twist of his head and a wink of his eye
Soon gave me to know that his actions were sly;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
The pretence of his labour confirmed by a smirk.
As we all left the building it started to snow,
And the once haggard faces around me did glow;
We jumped in our cars, the ignitions were started,
Leaving Nicholas “working” as we departed,
But I heard him exclaim as we drove out of sight–“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”