The Lost Chimneys

By Nora May French

A jagged crown they topped the town
   They stood in wind and weather--
Stout chimneys Santa clambered down
   For years and years together.
In all the havoc April wrought
   No shattered flue will hold him,
Who’d given the good old Saint a thought--
   Has anybody told him?

He doesn’t read as others do
The daily publications;
He doesn't hear, the whole year through,
   The gossip of the nations.
His skillful fingers, busy Saint
   Make hobby-horses sleeker,
Daub all the Noah's arks with paint
   And give each lamb a squeaker.

He'll come with dolls for Lil and Sue,
   A train for little brother
And find of house and hearth and flue
   No brick upon another!
Turn over in your Christmas dream
   And snore in guilty slumber
While Santa tires his bronco team
   To find your change of number!

A light piece about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, was published in Sunset magazine, December 1906. It shows Nora May French's humor and playfulness, a side well known to her family and friends. While this was not reprinted in the 1910 Poems, her more serious poem on the earthquake, retitled "San Francisco, New Year’s, 1907," was included.
-- Pamela Herr