Twas the night before Christmas…

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Words and Music

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    RAPTOR
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        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 DISORDER,
        NOT HOW I PICTURED,
        A TRUE BRITISH SOLDIER.

        WAS THIS THE HERO,
        OF WHOM I’D JUST READ?
        CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
        THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

        I REALISED 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 DID NOT 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 Peacekeeping soldier stationed overseas.

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