Gary Jacobson

THE DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS IN A FOXHOLE

Hark ye, ‘tis the day after Christmas
And my mind ‘tis spinning in a cobweb of dilemmas
Still lying in a foxhole, so far and away from my home
Far, far across flecked white-caps of silvery foam…
Far too from this helter-skelter war
Yet I’m now closer to the spirit of Christmas, than ever before.

Forsooth, ‘tis truly said, the holiday spirit tumbles.
When specters of death all around in horror rumbles
At last humbles.
Visions of death and killing dancing in my head. Humanity fled
On Christmas Eve, On Christmas Eve,
Still trying hard… still to believe.

I saw fleeting signs of fading hope of peace on earth,
Christmas goodwill lost in hate’s costly dearth
Where attendant death hung in sweet-and-sour air absurd
Where maddening ringing, jingling in dreams I heard.
Surprised I did not die on that hot holy night
Though risky fear and trepidation were my sorry plight.

Last night I had the strangest dream. I’d never had before.
God’s joy filled my heart to the core.
In dream’s I saw Christ’s holy face
Bearing loving compassion with infinite grace
His great love stifling waves of wearying war’s blight
Tempered with God’s holy light.
Hallelujah… hallelujah!

My warring mind found heavenly peace
That silent night in my heart will never cease
Despite raging guns pounding that my poor heart spear
Drum, drum, drumming, constantly in my ear
My mortality by evil’s ravages torn…
For in the long holy night, the Christ in me was born.
Hallelujah… hallelujah!

In my foxhole, all ‘twas indeed calm
Truly a heaven-sent balm
Though all around me demons of war swarmed
My peace ‘twas by God’s love tenderly warmed
For I saw, I did, the wise man’s blazing star
Shining above my foxhole, the Christ child’s Holy alter.
Hallelujah… hallelujah!

Somehow I was comforted, I know not why or how
but from this day, I will forever before Him bow.
I learned a soldier’s lot ‘twas to his fellow man giving
through grief and pain a warrior’s harsh long-suffering
so fear not, and this night are brave
For by His salvation He will this soldier’s poor life save.
Hallelujah… hallelujah!

It doesn’t matter what you receive for your gift of life
In this bloody time of strife
For truly, ‘tis the giving that is the miracle
Thus saith the holy oracle…
For giving is neither tit nor tat, nor this for that…
But loving peace that will not in our hearts cease.
Hallelujah… hallelujah!

Soldiers in war, offer to give their all… their very blood
To nourish the liberty tree of brotherhood
For us… warriors breathe freedom to for all to bring
The sweet voice of independence to sing
Freedom ripped from evil elves, merry and wild,
Abiding neither tender nor mild.

O, hark ye now, soldiers in dreadful war’s season
Find ye in joy with peace the sacred reason
Find righteousness in the soldier’s task
That ye may goodness in that final day bask…
With Him!
With Him!
Hallelujah… and hallelujah!

Submitted for the December 2008 IWVPA Club Theme Project, “Glad Tidings of Great Joy