WHITE HULL CHRISTMAS

Anonymous

(Purloined from Fred's Place)

 

T'was the night before Christmas, they lived in a crowd,
In a 40 man berthing, with noises so loud.
I had come down the stack with presents to give,
And to see inside just who might perhaps live.
I looked all about, a strange sight did I see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stockings were hung, just boots close at hand,
On the bulkhead hung pictures of a far distant land.
They had medals and badges and awards of all kind,
And a sober thought came into my mind.
For this place was different, it was so dark and dreary,
I had found the house of a Sailor, once I saw clearly.
A Sailor lay sleeping, silent and alone,
Curled up in his rack and dreaming of home.
The face was so gentle, the room in disarray,
Not how I pictured a Sailor today.
Was this the hero I saw on TV?
Defending his country so we could be free?
I realized the families that I saw this night,
Owed their lives to these Sailors willing to fight.
Soon round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate bright Christmas Day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of the Sailor, like the one lying here.
I couldn't help wonder how many lay alone,
On a cold Christmas Eve on a sea, far from home.
The very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The Sailor awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa, don't cry, this life is my choice."
"Defending the seas all days of the year,
So others may rejoice in having no fear."
The Sailor rolled over and drifted to sleep,
I couldn't control it, I continued to weep.
I kept watch for hours so silent, so still,
And we both shivered from the night's cold chill.
I didn't want to leave on that cold, dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the Sailor rolled over and with a voice soft and pure,
Whispered, "Carry on Santa, it's Christmas, and All is Secure!"

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