Santa Claus in Exile #3
He dreams of a vodka cloud
that he rides to his mother-in-law’s house.
Out back the family is having a picnic,
so he leaves the cloud in the driveway
and walks through the front door,
past the stationary bicycle parked
for decades in the foyer with nowhere
to go, past the Buddha statue, past
the Chinese lamps, and Peruvian
tablet hung behind the television.
He can hear the voice of his wife
as she calls out ingredients
for her famous potato salad. His mouth
begins to water as he opens the backdoor,
but the yard is empty, just like the house.
A rusted scooter and two metal pedal cars
sit around a blanket, waiting.