Secret Santa 5.30pm

Zoe Davis

There was nothing secret
About the shoddily wrapped gift
Thrust with a giggle
Into waiting hands
Half past closing
Mouthing ‘we’re not open’
With accompanying jazz hands
To passers-by
Who try the door anyway
A bit like your luck
At wooing me
With a matching scarf and gloves set
With the wrong initials
I assume
With forlorn hope of a raise
Considering I got you a bottle
Obvious in shape but still worthy of an ‘Ooooh? Wonder what that is?’
As Spotify adverts blare out on borrowed speakers
Dammit. There goes the tree.
You were supposed to open the bottle at home. And that is not what mistletoe looks like-
Your dead cactus as unwilling substitute.
Forced festive frivolity.
Sharon brought her own buffet.
Vegan, gluten free, no cucumber.
They all want it,
As unlike the rest of the offerings, it isn’t
Ten quid a head. Notes taken from the till
For pizza, as no one was happy
Except Sharon.
Clatter into an Uber.
Let me shove you in.
Yes, bye.
Wave, bye.
I’ll wear it, I promise,
On Christmas Day.