‘Twas the narcissist’s Christmas, and all through the house,
not a creature felt valid, not even a mouse.
All their wishes and dreams were hidden with care,
in hopes that the narcissist would not look there.
The innocents writhed restlessly in their beds,
with visions of obligations in their heads:
would the narcissist shame them or lay some apt trap?
Such dread devours the chance of a long winter’s nap.
Then out of nowhere, there arose such a clatter,
which caused the last vestige of safety to scatter.
The narcissist skewered all souls in a flash
by delivering judgments that stung like hot ash.
“This tinsel is tarnished; these lights hung too low.”
“Why must you vex, offend, and insult me so?”
Striking terror and torpor in many a belly,
a narcissist renders all boundaries jelly.
Then what to all wondering eyes should appear?
Blame, recrimination, and one welling tear.
As the narcissist cried, “I feel cut to the quick
by your insensitivity. If I was sick,
would you stroll unconcerned past my feverish frame?
As if you could barely remember my name?
Ah, the Yuletide reminds me of my former glories.”
Then the narcissist retold 10 told-before stories.
“Damn pandemic! Denying my non-guests the thrill
of my warm welcome! COVID-19 is such a buzzkill.”
“We just have each other this Christmas, by golly.
“But how in tarnation could you make me jolly?”
If only those thusly mistreated might flee
from the narcissist! Boldly escape he or she
who disparages, derides, devalues, and teases them
while mocking and banning whatever pleases them;
demanding loyalty, love, and obedience,
along with worship and all its ingredients.
If innocent victims could finally realize
that this one they cherish, obey, and idealize
returns no such loyalties: don’t, won’t, can’t,
as narcissists have scant compassion to grant.
While juggling their own swordlike self-esteem,
their insatiable hunger for praise rich as cream.
And for constant companionship. Trip wire to rage
at each minuscule flaw, each imagined infraction,
they interrupt, ignore, are prone to distraction.
If only denial, like candy canes, dissolved,
exposing the cold truth—the dynamics involved.
Then painful liaisons could be left behind
as reality gleamed in each victimized mind.
We could sing that long-overdue carol at last:
I exist! I shall not be enslaved by my past!
Hark! Awareness reigns, sparkling like bright scattered salt:
None of those things for which I was blamed were my fault.
Compliments to Clement Clarke Moore, whose poem The Night Before Christmas, first published in 1823, inspired this one.