Daily Wisdom

December 17, 2006

THE SANDS OF CHRISTMAS

A Poem by Michael Marks

I had no Christmas spirit
when I breathed a weary sigh,
And looked across the table where
the bills were piled too high.

The laundry wasn't finished
and the car I had to fix,
my stocks were down another point,
the Lions lost by six.

And so with only minutes
till my son got home from school,
I gave up on the drudgery
and grabbed a wooden stool.

The burdens that I carried
were about all I could take,
and so I flipped the TV on
to catch a little break.

I came upon a desert scene
in shades of tan and rust,
no snowflakes hung upon the wind,
just clouds of swirling dust.

And where the reindeer should have stood
before a laden sleigh,
Eight Humvees ran a column
right behind an M1A.

A group of boys walked past the tank,
not one was past his teens.
Their eyes were hard as polished flint,
their faces drawn and lean.

They walked the street in armor
with their rifles shouldered tight,
Their dearest wish for Christmas,
just to have a silent night.

Other soldiers gathered,
hunkered down against the wind,
to share a scrap of mail
and dreams of going home again.

There wasn't much at all to put
their lonely hearts at ease,
They had no Christmas turkey,
just a pack of MREs.

They didn't have a garland
or a stocking I could see,
they didn't need an ornament--
they lacked a Christmas tree.

They didn't have a present
even though it was tradition;
the only boxes I could see
were labeled "ammunition."

I felt a little tug and found
my son now by my side.
He asked me what it was I feared,
and why it was I cried.

I swept him up into my arms
and held him oh so near,
And kissed him on the forehead
as I whispered in his ear.

"There's nothing wrong, my little son,
for safe we sleep tonight.
Our heroes stand on foreign land
to give us all the right..."

"to worry on the things in life
that mean nothing at all,
instead of wondering if we
will be the next to fall."

He looked at me as children do
and said, "It’s always right,
to thank the ones who help us and
perhaps that we should write."

And so we pushed aside the bills
and started to draft a note,
to thank the many far from home,
and this is what we wrote:

"God bless you all and keep you safe,
and speed your way back home.
Remember that we love you so,
and that you're not alone."

"The gift you give you share with all,
a present every day,
you give the gift of liberty
and that we can't repay."

______________________________________________

Michael Marks: "I freely submit this poem for reprint without reservation -- this is an open and grateful tribute to the men and women who serve every day to keep.

4 Comments:

At 12/18/2006 5:24 AM , Blogger MargeinMI said...

That is lovely, Hawkeye. Merry Christmas!

 
At 12/18/2006 9:30 PM , Anonymous Mrs Kajun said...

Read, and weep.
Great poem--so sad, but so true.

 
At 12/23/2006 10:20 AM , Blogger camojack said...

You've got a "spambot"^.

 
At 12/23/2006 6:57 PM , Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Camo,
I've got "Spam-a-lot"?? Isn't that the name of a Broadway show or sumptin'?

(:D) Regards...

 

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