Letter to the editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

A new 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 did I 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 in 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, that life is my choice;

I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more,

My life is my God, my country, my Corp.”

The soldier rolled over and 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.”

This poem was written by an unknown Marine.

Submitted by Bobby D. Harvey

former Marine