Poetry

A United States Marine Christmas

A United States Marine Christmas

Twas 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 preasants to give
And to see whom in the house did live

As I looked all around, a strange sight I did see
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree
No stockings by the fire, just boots full of sand
On the wall hung a picture of a far away land

With medals and badges, awards of all kinds
A sobering thought soon came to my mind
For this house was different, unlike any I'd seen
This was the home of a U.S. Marine


I heard stories about them so I had to see more
I walked down the hallway and pushed open the door
And there he lay sleeping - Silent. Alone.
Curled up on the floor of his one bedroom home

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up on his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean shaven, his face weathered tan
I soon understood this was more than a man
For I realized the families I saw tonight
Owed there lives to these men who were willing to fight

Soon around the nation children would play
And grown-ups would celebrate a bright Christmas day
They enjoyed freedom each day and all year
Because of Marines 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
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry

He must have awoken for I heard a rough voice
"Santa don't cry. This life is my choice.
I fight for freedom, I don't ask more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps."

With that he rolled over, drift off into sleep
I couldn't controll it, I continued to weep
I watched him for hours. So silent and still
I noticed he shivered from the cold nights chill

So, I took off my jacket, the one made of red
To cover this Marines from his toes to his head
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold
With the eagle, globe, and anchor emblazoned so bold

Although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride
For one shinning moment I was Marine Corps deep inside
I didn't want to leave him, so quite in the night.
This guardian of honor so willing to fight

But half asleep he rolled over and in a voice clean and pure
Said, "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, Semper Fi, and good night!

Contributed on 23 July 1998 by Robyn Casteel [This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.