A Soldier’s Christmas by Michael Marks

 

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,

in a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney with presents to give

and to see just who in this home did live.

 

I looked all about a strange sight I did see,

no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.

No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,

on the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.

 

With medals and badges, awards of all kind

a sober thought came through my mind.

For this house was different, so dark and dreary,

I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.

 

I heard stories about them, I had to see more

so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.

And there he lay sleeping silent alone,

curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.

 

His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,

not how I pictured a United States soldier.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?

Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

 

His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,

I soon understood this was more than a man.

For I realized the families that I saw that night

owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.

 

Soon ‘round the world, the children would play,

and grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.

They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,

Because of soldiers like this one lying here.

 

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone

on a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.

Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,

I dropped to 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.”

 

With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,

I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I didn’t want to leave him on that cold dark night,

this guardian of honor so willing to fight.

 

Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,

“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!

About Fred Fanning Author

Fred Fanning currently writes biweekly on his blog fredefanningauthor.com. His published works include the peer-reviewed book Basic Safety Administration-A Handbook for the New Safety Specialist. Fred also authored two editions of the peer-reviewed chapter Safety Training and Documentation Principles that was published in the bestselling Safety Professional Handbook and the Safety Professional Handbook Management Applications. He coauthored the peer-reviewed chapter Safety Training with Christine Fiori, Ph.D., PE, published in the bestselling Construction Safety Management and Engineering, second edition edited by Darryl C. Hill, Ph.D., CSP. Fred also has several self-published books. He has a series called Fred’s Safety Shorts. This is a collection of twelve books on topics related to safety published with Kindle Direct Publishing. Fred self-published another six books using both CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform and Kindle Direct Publishing. He has authored fifty-eight articles in various publications on the topics of safety and health and project management. Fred has earned several writing awards for his non-fiction work. Fred has one novel A Walk Among the Dead. He is working on his second Mystery at Devil’s Elbow.
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