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Christmas In The Field

Twas the day before Christmas and out on the range
Some strange guys were shooting some things that were strange
There were Springfields and Mausers and parkerized pistols
And a guy in a trench who was blowing a whistle:

“Get up and get out!  Get over the top!”
He yelled and he fell, the machineguns won’t stop
The soldiers pushed their friends up in despair
“Whatever you do, don’t you leave me here!”

Thirty years later, it was the same shout:
“Hang on, old buddy, you’re going to get out!
You got your bloody ticket and I’ll get mine
We’ll be home for Christmas, there’s not any doubt.”

In 1950 they were back for more
This time at the Chosin Reservoir
Just one month to Christmas, we’ll soon be home soon.
General Douglas MacArthur says so.

Vietnam split us apart.  Some men wanted to be soldiers, 
Others wanted to sit in San Francisco and smoke dope
And spit on our returning soldiers.
Barry Sadler wrote the “Ballad of the Green Berets”
and John Wayne played it out.  And our soldiers came home
and took up their lives again, some prosperous, some living on the street.
And a memorial wall brought us together again.

 Back in childhood days we played in the sandbox
Pushing around tractors, and tanks and toy soldiers
Toys that we had gotten as gifts and we had no idea
That those toy soldiers were our fathers and uncles and grandfathers.

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
My father’s nightmares came to me as quiet as a mouse
Of battlefields and a snow-packed prison camp and a far-off family at home
And stockings waiting by the chimney with care.

Dedicated to my father, Donald J. Craig, 1921-1998, a soldier.

Copyright © D. C. Jordan | Year Posted 2016

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