‘Twas two nights before Christmas,
and soon at our place
nine guests were arriving, each ready for Grace,
with pot-luck to follow, all shared face-to-face.
The cook was quite ready, three tables prepared.
He turned off the gas, but fire soon flared.
The gas had been leaking; there was a great flame.
“Quickly!” we called. The Fire Brigade came.
The garden was singed, the barbecue burned.
Our chairs and umbrella to rubbish were turned.
The fire impinged on the lawn and the glass.
The paving was blackened; charred cloth on the grass.
Of good food and drink the guests brought enough
but to clean up the courtyard was messy and tough.
The next time we plan to cook for a crowd,
with the stove indoors we’ll do our guests proud.