Tribute to the soldier

BASTOGNE CHRISTMAS 1944

From his shallow dug foxhole binoculars straining
White snow devouring the blackness of the forest
The soldier stares ahead at his deathly foe
Movement among the trees I’m sure
One hundred yards away no more

Meanwhile the hooded crow fixes his eyes upon the plight
Observing this war from his perch on high
He has no fear of the machine gun rat-a-tat
Has no part to play in the death of men
His black feathers sheltering him from the icy winter blasts

Bitter cold fingers grip the torn and tattered text
Words of consolation – scripture bound in leather
The soldier glances to the left and to the right of him
Movement among the trees I’m sure
One hundred yards away no more

And then – no light nor sound the day is past
Sleep in treacherous night it must not come
The soldier bites his lip to fend off Morpheus
But he sleeps he dreams he wakes the morning is here
All around is silence – no spectres looming amongst the trees

Hark the herald he hears the boyish tones drift by in foggy breath
The Christmas carol sung in thanks
The soldier stares skyward into the December sunlight
While the black crow shivers and shakes and flies away
He has seen enough of war

This poem is dedicated to all who have fought for freedom, wherever they come from, whatever their faith, whatever their time. P.A.

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