The Death Watch List

The Death Watch List

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The spirit of Christmas was here again

As they rocked on up to my door,

The aunts and uncles and cousins, all

I’d not even seen before,

They’d smelt the turkey, they’d seen the tree

With its lights, red yellow and green,

They’d even come with their knives and forks

In case that my own weren’t clean.


They came in a rush at twelve o’clock,

‘Now we’re not too late, we trust?

We got caught up at Aunt Mary’s, then

We missed the eleven-ten bus,

She says she’ll not be cooking this year

So we didn’t have time to lose,

She’ll hurry along with a minute to spare

As soon as she puts on her shoes.’


I said, ‘Oh good!’ as they filed on in

To wash their hands in the sink,

Then counted heads and I gulped and saw

The turkey begin to shrink,

A single bird for eleven heads

Or twelve if you counted me,

I might just get a wing and a prayer

When feeding this family.


They found the chest with the beer in ice

But there wasn’t enough for all,

So they corked and drank the fine Rosé

That I’d had displayed on the wall,

They ground the peanuts into the rug

And they spilled Chablis on the couch,

Then kept on stumbling over my feet

And all I could say was ‘Ouch!’


They sat around with an hour to wait

While the turkey started to brown,

And talked of family members that

They thought were coming on down,

But then the topic they all enjoyed

Was raising its ugly head,

‘You’d never believe,’ said Cousin Steve

But Auntie Caroline’s dead!’


‘I heard she fell from the Pepper Tree

With the pruning shears in her grasp,

Into a deadly swarm of bees!’

You could hear the others gasp.

‘And George, remember George, he was

Your Uncle’s cousin’s son,

He fell right under a train; they said

He had a blindfold on.’


Then Gustave from the German branch

And Heidi from the Swiss,

Had both expired in some dread fire,

I’d not heard any of this!

‘Delaney died in Ottawa

When he fell dead off his horse,

And Orson choked on a bottle of coke

That was really chilli sauce!’


I cleared my throat before I spoke

‘I would hate to interrupt,

But listening to your Death Watch List

Has made my mind right up.

I don’t know a single one of you,

You've not been here before,

But you’ll find who you are related to

If you’d like to try next door.’


David Lewis Paget

© 2013 David Lewis Paget

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Another funny and great tale, David ... thanks for sharing ..

Posted 6 Years Ago

Very funny, what an excellent poem, another well drawn scene, written in a way that breathes life into the events, and the humourous ending is the finishing touch. Another delight to enjoy.

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

David, this was so funny.

I'll bet they all came to my house to celebrate the rest of their Christmas.

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fantatsic Christmas scene Mr Paget.Loved it.All the hustle and bustle.Merry Christmas!

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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4 Reviews
Added on December 24, 2013
Last Updated on December 28, 2013
Tags: cousins, turkey, beer, chablis


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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