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The Sands of Christmas

“The Sands of Christmas”
Submitted 6/14/05

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 Dolphins 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
hummers 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 MRE’s.

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 about the things in
life that really mean nothing at all, instead of wondering each day 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 sat 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.


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