I set out two days before Christmas
To beach-walk the holidays through,
Bunking with twenty-three strangers
Who relished to be alone too.
Happy with nature’s fine company,
No need for the trappings of home,
We twenty-four souls would be grateful —
Together by being on our own.
Well, nothing is quite as expected:
Twenty-three souls having fun
Belonged each to couples and families;
I, the sole party of one.
I left on the day before Christmas
Not onward, but back to the start
To friends, Swiss and English and German
Prior with whom I did part.
A Christmas Day dinner of pasta
Instead of dried fruit on its own,
And a table of young solo travelers
Who thought they’d spend Christmas alone.
Merry Christmas, wherever you are, whoever you’re with. — D.