A Different Christmas Poem
by Karen Palumbo
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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A simple tribute to all in military uniform.
The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "It's really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My 'Gramps died at Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed,
"That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam",
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.
Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue...an American flag.
"I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother.
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall"
"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do", at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."
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|Reviewed by Joy Hale
|A poignant poem, tears falling on my keyboard. So many men and women in harms way... what a loving tribute to them all. Very well done! Thank you for sharing this poem with all of us on AD. Joy L. Hale|
|Reviewed by Steve Groll
|Have a son-in-law in the army who has been in the zone and is going back again. What a great poem to help us all remember what it costs to protect us.|
|Reviewed by Inspire Hope
|This poem Karen is very heart felt! my heart cried, this is an excellent poem!#1 Stellar, vow! what " A Different Kind Of Christmas " Thank you Karen for sharing and caring!
Love And Prayers
|Reviewed by Kathy Pollick
|Such a great poem. You have written so many poems and books. Awesome job. Thanks too for visiting my site and leaving comments. I will be back often to check for updates!!|
|Reviewed by Tom Hyland
|KAREN - SUPERB !!!
I finished reading this, with teary eyes - it is as good as, or maybe BETTER than the one heard on the radio during the Holidays.
Remembering THEM, and fighting for VETERANS RIGHTS - that is what ED KOSTRO does perennially. Would that every member of Congress should read this!
God Bless You & Your Family!
P.S. - this was my first visit, but in the immortal words of General Douglas MacArthur -
"I SHALL RETURN!"
|Reviewed by Bonnie May
|They matter...what a poet you are my friend. This was the most beautiful tribute I ever read for our soldiers. You are something, really something. Love, Bonnie (Now I'm going to get the box of tissues.)|
|Reviewed by Dark Knight
|wow-find a website for honoring veterans and send them this powerful poem-well done Karen|
|Reviewed by Mary Coe
|A powerful and strong write. Very touching. Excellent poem.|
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|Perfect heart tugging poetry, Karen; very well done! BRAVA!
(((HUGS))) and much love, your friend in Burleson, Karen Lynn. :D
|Reviewed by x x (Reader)
|Wow Karen this is so very touching. Excellent in every way!|
|Reviewed by Steve Ralph
|This is perfection, I have written many poems myself, and have been told they are good, but if I could write just one as well as this, I would be a very proud and happy man,
thank you for sharing it.
|Reviewed by Sherry Heim
|I love this everytime I read it. Thank you for posting it here for many more to see. Every soldier deserves our respect, our compassion and to know that they matter to each of us. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
|Reviewed by J M
|I have seen this one and so has the troops a powerful Christmas poem Thank you for sharing it here at the den.
Christmas blessings keeping them all in prayers,