by Michael Marks
“There’s no such thing as Santa,” jeered the group of older boys
“there isn’t any reindeer, any elves or magic toys.”
“Oh yes there is” I cried aloud, my little fists curled tight,
“He’s on his way with loaded sleigh to visit us tonight.”
“I made the most important wish a boy could ever make
and I’ve been good for oh so long, been good for goodness sake.”
And though the tears burned in my eyes, I swore I wouldn’t cry,
I didn’t want to be a man, but promised dad I’d try.
That night was spent, just mom and me, like many nights before;
the house was never quite the same since dad went off to war.
We had our Christmas dinner and we sang O Holy Night,
We read about that meany Grinch and cheered when he did right.
But sadness showed within Mom’s eyes as she stood by my bed,
and tucked the covers to my chin and kissed me on the head.
“Don’t worry mom,” I whispered “things are gonna be all right.”
“We’re sure to get our Christmas Wish when Santa comes tonight.”
I tried my best to stay awake and listen to the roof,
for telltale ring of jingle bells or clop of reindeer hoof.
But snug and warm it wasn’t long before I gave a yawn,
And would have gone to sleep but for the noise out on the lawn.
Then came the clump of heavy boots across the hardwood floor,
the tread somehow familiar like I’d heard it once before.
As quiet as a mouse I crept, my eyes flew wide to see
the silhouette that stood alone before the Christmas tree.
His frame was lean and fit, he had no belly big and round,
the heavy sack a duffle that he placed upon the ground.
He didn’t wear a stitch of red, the uniform was green,
And not a single jingle bell, just medals could be seen.
And then the strongest arms on earth wrapped ‘round and held me tight,
and I knew then that Santa really rode on Christmas night,
and Christmas Wishes did come true, just like I knew they had,
For Santa came on Christmas night and brought me home my dad.
With my fondest wish for every man and woman who serves to keep this nation safe, and the loving families who wait at home for your return. God speed you home safe and sound to our waiting arms.