T’was the Night Before Christmas – A Soldier’s 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 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 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 a Marine. The following is his request. I think it is reasonable…..

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S. service men, women, and Canadian Forces for our being able to celebrate these festivities.

Let’s try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us. Please, do your part to plant this small seed.

Celebrate the day but watch your step

wind-generatorsGreetings,

The CowChows is on the road this weekend for a long overdue visit with family. Time with family is like an ice cream cone; there’s never enough and it’s always gone too soon.

I stepped outside this morning to watch the day arrive, and as the darkness gave way to the light I beheld a strange sight. In the distance, on a northern ridge of the Wichita Mountains, a staggered row of wind generators stood overlooking the valley. They stood tall and straight, and spanned the horizon from east to west. As the dawn grew brighter and the morning breeze picked up their great wings began to slowly turn. It was as if they were sentinels heralding the birth of a new day.

I stood mesmerized as these giants slowly came to life in turn from east to west. I marveled at the modern technology placed here in the most ancient mountain range in North America. I wondered at the progress we made in the past century, and that which we will make in the next. And I was moved, also, to celebrate the birth of this new day.

I raised my arms to the rising sun and let its life-giving rays warm me. I listened to the music of the songbirds as they joined in the celebration. I closed my eyes and found a rhythm in their song, and I began to dance a welcoming dance to the day. I felt the morning dew splash up on my ankles, and I became childlike and exuberant as I joyfully skipped through the freshly mown grass.

I whirled and I twirled in the growing light of day. The sun smiled warmly at my offering; the wind generators seemed to applaud my performance, and the birds cheered me on. And then, I stepped in a pile of dog crap.

So, it’s going to be one of those days. I knew I should’ve stayed in bed.

Cordially yours,

Tim Couch