"Sharing can be a way of healing. Grief and loss can isolate,
anger even alienate. Shared with others, emotions unite
as we see we aren't alone. We realize others weep with us."
~Susan Wittig Albert

Through our writing, we walk out of the darkness into the light
together, one small step at a time, recording history, educating
America, and we are healing.
~CJ/Todd Dierdorff

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Foxhole Christmas

This poem was written from a foxhole on the front lines in Rollesbroich, Germany on December 25, 1944, while Cleburne R. Martin was serving with the 78th Lightning Division of the U.S. Army.  One year later, on Christmas Day, Martin was on a ship headed back home to Mineral Wells, Texas.  He died on Christmas Eve, 2002.

Christmas in a Foxhole
by Pfc. Cleburne R. Martin, Christmas Day, 1944

I guess the way I should begin
Is “Peace on earth, Goodwill to men,
”But over here, it is differently told
With shells and bullets and life in a hole.

Now Hans and Fritz just over the way
Don’t seem to know that it’s Christmas Day,
Or maybe they value their exploits bold
And choose to live out here in a hole.

We have the trees, the ice and snow,
But to places like this old Santa don’t go;
If he were here, I’m sure he’d say,
“What an awful place to spend Christmas Day.”

The thing in life that drives us on
Is a spot in the States that we all call home,
And though our loved ones are far away,
They’re with us in spirit this Christmas Day.

When it will end, we do not know,
This miserable life in the rain and snow:
But for one thing I earnestly pray –
Unoccupied foxholes next Christmas Day.

“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale

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