Monday, December 24, 2012

POEM ('Twas the Night Before Christmas --- for the Troops)

'Twas the Night Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
in a one bedroom house made of plaster and stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give,
and to see just who in this house did live.
I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by mantle, just boots filled with sand,
and on the wall pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kinds,
a sobering thought came to my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and so dreary,
the house of a soldier, now I could see clearly.
The soldier lay sleeping, silent, and alone,
curled up on the floor in this one bedroom home.
The face was so gentle, the room in such disorder,
not how I pictured a United States soldier.
I realized the families that I saw this night,
owed their lives to these soldiers who were willing   to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
and grownups would celebrate a bright Christmas  day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
because of the soldiers, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help but wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped on my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don't cry, this life is my choice.
I fight for freedom, I don't ask for more,
my life is my God, my country, my corps."
The soldier rolled over and soon drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours, so silent and still,
and we both shivered, from the cold evening's chill.
I didn't want to leave that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, with a voice soft and  pure,
whispered, "Carry on, Santa, it's Christmas day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
"Merry Christmas, my friend, and to all a good night."
By Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt