At the time of the Christmas cut sales
Slash, in red, screamed at an angle
Across the shopwindows behind which lifelike puppets sat
Made festive with glitter and tinsel.
Overnight to everyone's amazement the puppets changed their price tags
And no-one could afford to buy them.
The tinsel and glitter turned into a kind of camouflage.
From their pulpits priests announced that infant Christ
Had thrown an elaborate tantrum
And was spoiling Christmas.
Many Worlds shut down.
All that was left was printer's ink
This year many martyrs were manufactured
Not for export.
The electricity bills at police stations increased unaccountably.
Published in Quarry '78-'79: New South African Writing