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The Soldier's Christmas Poem

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 new zealand 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 drifted to sleep
I coundn'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."

- Grant Hays




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