The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed around the room and cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow feel, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.
The sound wasn’t loud, and it wasn’t too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn’t quite know, then the
Sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see was near.
Standing out in the cold and dark of night.
A long figure stood his face weary and tight.
A soldier. I puzzled some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled.
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
“What are you doing?” I asked without fear,
“come in this moment, it’s freezing out there!
Put down your pack; brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a Cold Christmas Eve!”
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire’s light
The he sighed and he said “It’s really all right,
I’m out here by choice. I’m here every night”
“It’s my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I’m proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ‘Pearl on a day in December,”
Then he sighed, “That’s a Christmas ‘Gran always remembers.”
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of Nam’
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I’ve not seen my own son in more than a while
But my wife sends me pictures, he sure got her smile.
Then he bent and carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue.. An American flag.
I can live through the cold and being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weigh of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sisters and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall.”
“So go back inside, “he said, “Harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I’ll be all right.”
“But isn’t there something I can do, at the least,
“Give you money,” I asked, “or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you’ve done,
For being away from your wife and your son.”
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret
“Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us.”
By VGSQ member
“if y’all think I did it…just give me a lawyer, dawg, ‘cause this is not what’s up.”Warren Demesme said during police questioning.The Louisiana Supreme Court held that this reference was too ambiguous to count as a request for counsel.REASON Magazine, January 2018
73 percent of Alabama is within a drug-free zone, defined as extending three miles from schools, colleges and housing complexes and resulting in a five- year enhancement. REASON Magazine, January 2018