Santa’s Enchanted Forest

From the Ferris wheel the people in the adjacent mechanical ship look like sushi packed in grocery food containers.

It is 74 degrees and January 2.

Christmas lights are the only reminder that it is the holiday season.


The night air is fickle inside the park:

Sweet, stale, laden with grease that evaporates ten feet from its origin.

The air thickens just as you approach kiosks selling plastic shiny foods.

It gives birth to nausea for the discerning nose.


A bougainvillea of fuchsia beads cascade out of the little girl’s hair in front of me.

She is quiet under the waterfall.


The pine trees are high-waisted and they create a natural barrier between the “enchantment” and the sprawling black top highway.

The low palms mock the Christmas theme, while the scanty line of coniferous trees makes it last stand against the tyranny of development.


It is losing.


The Calusa sleep below the weight of heavy metal machines that spin, jerk and tease the heavens with low-level thrills.

The silent meet and greet Santa has never been washed.

No one can tell if he is human or air.


And despite the overt attack on my senses,

I think of you.

Copyright © 2012 Nichelle Calhoun


*Calusa- South Florida tribe that no longer exists

*Santa’s Enchanted Forest- Christmas-themed park in South Florida


One thought on “Santa’s Enchanted Forest

  1. An enjoyably visual recount of your experience. I looked up the Calusa tribe before I finished reading the piece, only to find out that you were already two steps ahead of the reader.

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