David R. “Poppa” Alexander

CHRISTMAS 1967

It was the night before Christmas, when all through the camp
Not a person was stirring, most were taking a nap.
The claymores were armed with great care
In hopes that Charlie would not be near.

In the world the family would be nestled in bed
While visions of Christmas Dinner danced in their head
But here in Nam our only hope was we wouldn’t wakeup dead.
Not a word about Christmas was said.

The troops dressed in dirty fatigues, and me in mine
Tried to sleep at least for a short time.
When out on the perimeter a noise not much of a clatter
I sprung from my sleep but sleep didn’t matter.

Fully awake from my sleep in a flash
Careful not to make any noise seeing Charlie make a dash.
There was a partial moon and was able to see
At least a squad of Charlie looking straight at me.

They were dressed in black, so lively and quick
I thought for a moment I was going to be sick.
Swifter than eagles they came in time
But they were no match for our claymore mine.

From the top front of our position to the perimeter they did crawl
But once again our weapons and claymores ended this brawl.
So out through the night the survivors flew
And for this Christmas Eve Night we knew they were through.

The next morning to see the attempts on our position gave us pause
And not once did anyone think of Santa Clause.
But Santa showed up in that desolate land for our bunch
Because around about noon a chopper brought us a hot lunch.

First thing in a week other than C’s
So we ate and soon were catching some Z’s
And thankful I was on that Christmas Day
Before the meal we all stopped to pray.

Submitted for the December 2002 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Joy of the Holy Days