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The Gift

The gift

T’was 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 home 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,
on the wall hung pictures
of far distant lands.

With medals and badges,
awards of all kinds,
a sober thought
came through my mind.

For this house was different,
it was dark and dreary,
I found the home of a soldier,
once I could see clearly.

The soldier lay sleeping,
silent, 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.

Was this the hero of whom I’d just read?
Curled up on a poncho, the floor for a bed?
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 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 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."

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 night’s chill.

I didn’t want to leave
on that cold, dark, night,
this guardian of honor
so 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."


5 responses »

  1. I like Santana too. He puts out great music.

  2. Very nice. Thank you for sharing. I hope a lot of people see this. hugsssssssssssss

  3. Hey Rose,I always love that poem. I read it every year and get a tear in my eye. Thanks for sharing. Big Friday hugsssssssssssss to you my friend.Love,La. Rose

  4. That\’s a wonderful poem and well worth putting on the net. Yeah, ya gotta laugh. I, too, deal with some interesting people situations (not quite like yours I\’m sure) and, in scouting, I have encountered many boys with difficulties. Love your mention of the lady and her sore teeth but the watch is great. How many times did you ask her what time it was? LOL Once at scout camp I took a boy edging on schizophrenia who I learned on the 3rd raining day of the week had an imaginary friend (not quite like the one many people have). I heard him in two distinctly different voices talking in his tent. This was after a series of events that he had that week which weren\’t what he wanted to happen. I had become a bit exasperating and exhausting. An adult came into camp to help out the rest of the week. I started telling him about the situation, laughed quite a bit, made some other comments. This guy had no sense of humor (or understanding). If ya haven\’t been there some times, ya don\’t have any understanding. Laugh until you gasp for breath. Hope your weekend is going well.

  5. Hi W, thats a very nice poem.K.T.


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