For Christmas, the Queen
Requests new nipple tassels
Then, on Boxing Day,

She sets herself up
With a portable podium
On Brighton Pier

And begins swivelling
Her sparkling accessories
To a thinning crowd.

It’s a tradition
Stemming from the recession.
There’s no TV crew.

She plays childhood songs
On a wind-up gramophone
Then smiles at those left.

There are only two:
A bag lady, and someone
From an actors’ home

Who wants to show her
His press cuttings, then hand her
A dusty meringue.

“Miss it all dear, do you?
Christmas at Balmoral – with
Those kilts and sporrans?”

“No, I’ve had all that,”
Says the Queen, who’s now giggling.
“The penny dropped.

“Thanks to Christ’s message
‘Give away all that thou hast’,
I can smile real smiles!”

Still spinning her tassels
And without a care in the world
She grabs passers-by,

“Christmas is magic
So, borrow my bank account
For as long as you like.

“It still has trillions
Last time I looked. Jesus saves,
So please help yourselves.

“This Christmas, banknotes
Have poor people’s faces on –
Hope you’ve all noticed?

“Every one was mine
But now the poor have first dibs.
Christmas, eh? What larks!”

Then, in frayed slippers,
She walks towards the care home
For her Christmas lunch

And the people’s ghost
Of Christmas past disappears
Into the mists of time.