I Won'T Be Home For Christmas

Dear Mum,

Sitting here I wondered why I won't be home for Christmas
the lads and me in company C feel sorry for those who'll miss us
on far off shores we'll keep the peace with hope and understanding
but God can sometimes make his lost son's birthday quite demanding,

The captain said the new year looks good for some recreation
the Scots lads hope he means going home for new year celebrations
they're not a bad bunch, sometimes rough, but hearts in the right places
I miss you all and love you, hope you have a merry Christmas,

Tell the folks I miss them say I'll get there when I can
but I've got work to do here I'm sure they'll understand
the Holy lands not far away just now from where I'm sitting
and the distant gunfire sounds like the christmas crackers I'll be missing,

The desert stars are so bright you'd believe there's peace on earth
and I feel like a hypocrite with guns on Jesus's birth
tomorrow we go on patrol in search of insurrection
I'm sure if Jesus had his say, he'd have plenty of objections,

The lads and me are doing what we can with what we've got
we even made a Christmas tree from an axle and some pots
on Christmas day we have a service in the padre's tent
Christmas dinner is provided in a tin the army sent,

When you hand out your presents we'll pass round the ammunition
the Santa outfit dad wears is nothing like the one I'm wearing
give my sister all my love and smother her with kisses
but I'm sorry to inform you that I won't be home for Christmas.

by Charles M Moore

Comments (4)

WOW! ! ! ! ! Excellent writing. Makes me think of my uncle who is in the Kansas National Guard and a friend of mine who is serving in the United States Airforce overseas. Holidays are the hardest for anyone in the service. A 10.
I kept thinking I was reading Sassoon or Owen. Sigh. The long lines greatly enhance the 'letter home' quality. Time goes by, then comes again. I liked this very much; some of the rage I've twisted in - I've had to stop watching the news, reflecting it did me harm, and no one else any good - is here transformed to something beyond my own angry rants. Sigh.
Such a sad poem, but one that hits hard. How many soldiers are wondering if they've been forgotten, they have been there so long. Christmas is just another day to the military, but to them it is love and family and such sweet sorrow. Heart-tugging poem. Warmly, Linda
this is the letter mom's don't want to get... wow.