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- Joined: Mon May 30, 2005 8:33 am
A Soldier's Christmas
By Michael Marks 2000
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed 'round the room and I cherished the sight;
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell....a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight;
The sparkling lights on the tree, I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep;
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem.
So I slumbered in peace, then I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it came to my ear;
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble. I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near;
Standing out there alone in the cold of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I reckoned, some eighteen years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled there in the cold;
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, my wife, and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment! It's freezing out here;
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on this cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment, I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold, and the snow in a drift;
To the windows that danced with a warm fire's light,
Then he sighed, and he said, "It's really all right."
"I'm out here by choice. I'm here all the time,
It's my duty to stand at the front of the line;
No one has to ask me, or beg, or implore,
I'm proud to stand here like my father before."
"My grandpa at Pearl, on a day in December,
Is a memory my grandma will always remember;
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam,
And now it's my turn, and so, here I am.
I've not seen my family in more than a while,
But my parents send pictures. They're great for a smile."
Then he bent down and carefully pulled from his bag,
The Red, White, and Blue. An American flag.
"I can live through the cold, and this being alone,
Away from my family, my house, and my home;
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole, with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life for my buddy.....my brother;
Who stand here with me against any and all,
To insure for all time that this flag does not fall.
So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
Give you some money? Prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you do,
Being away from your home and your family too."
Then his eyes welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget;
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone;
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, wither standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled,
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you, as you mattered to us."
- Posts: 5362
- Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:32 am
and we will not forget......................