A Christmas Poem
by DW Groethe

Fox waits in the meadow
crescent moon floats on the rise,
As aurora borealis sweeps
…..her hair across the skies.
Far off in winter’s corners
reach her tresses, dipping low,
skiff the slumbering frozen,
…..wake the restless ‘neath the snow.
Restless is it, yearning,
in the year’s end looming night,
yearning for the calling
…..of its deep mid-winter flight.

As, on a sudden, starshine
seems to concentrate its glow,
and the bit of ice it lights on,
…..glimmers some, begins to flow.
Welling up and out about,
a mighty castle grows,
grand and handsome, tall
… rises stately from the snows.

A breeze sighs through the parapets
and softly off the walls,
as a roar of jubilation
…..rouses castle rooms and halls.
All work is done, the day has come,
for Christmas Eve is here
and elves are busy hitching up
…..eight prancing antsy deer.

Ol’ Santa climbs up in the sleigh,
his hands latch on the reins
as castle gates sweep open wide
…..on boundless arctic plains.
Reindeer rise. And off they soared
to make their yearly flight.
Yeehawing loudly, joyfully,
…..they sail into the night.

Elves hanging on to runners
as they head out on the ride.
Elves pile next to Santa
…..and elves bury deep inside
a wondrous sack that somehow
holds a million jillion toys,
and other nifty goodies,
…..for a world of girls and boys.

(It should, perhaps, be pointed out
that ’cause he’s him,
calls everybody boys and girls,
…’s just a Santa whim.)
So anyway, the night begins,
they take their fabled route,
stopping pert near everywhere
… no one does without.

A doll house here, toy ponies there,
soccer balls galore,
shirts and clocks, argyle socks,
… yoyos, games and more.
How do they do it? Who can know.
It’s magic sure and true.
Best just believe…don’t waste your time
… stop and think it through.

And when the ballyhooing’s done.
the presents given ’round,
with tired grins, they all agree,
…’s time for homeward bound.
Now, truth be told, just where home is,
there’s no one really knows,
’cause magic keeps the place well hid
…..from prying eyes and those
who think they might get one more gift
(that kind’s not hard to find)
so things just sort of disappear
…..when elvin folk unwind.

Gates close tight behind them,
day’s light peers on yonder hill.
Santa, elves and castle slowly fade away…

one year’s turn
around the sun…

© 2019, DW Groethe
This poem should not be reposted or reprinted without permission

We’re celebrating the 20th annual Christmas at the BAR-D (where there are many additional cowboy Christmas poems).

Eastern Montana poet, picker and ranch hand DW Groethe has created an annual Christmas card, with a handwritten poem and illustration, for 25 years.

“Fox Waits in the Meadow” is his 2019 poem. He’s collected all the poems in a book, The Christmas Poems, that will be available in 2020.


DW performs his poetry and music at venues small and large. He’s appeared many times at the Western Folklife Center’s National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, and has been invited to the the National Traditional Council for the Arts’ National Folk Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Library of Congress, and other places. He has books and recordings.

Find more about him at

See him at the Western Folklife Center’s 36th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, January 27-February 1, 2020, in Elko, Nevada. Read all about the premier event and all it has in store at

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and these illustrations with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)