Christmas of Forty-Four
|Christmas is both time and place.
It is both when and where,
Not just why and how,
With music in the air!
Will you come back with me
To Christmas of forty-four:
The very last Christmas of the war
When all of us were boys no more?
From Saipan and Tinian
Come the sounds of thunder
Of three-hundred B-29s
Belching smoke by the number.
Doesn't sound like "Silent Night",
Or the site of mistletoe,
With sleigh-bells ringing
In the scene of falling snow!
No warm hugs of loved ones
Sitting round an open hearth,
And no angelic beings
Singing of Peace on Earth!
How can we sing
Of Peace on Earth,
With the coming of a Savior,
And the miracle of His birth?
Remembering days gone by
When there were no 29s in the sky;
Those other days with Big Band Sounds
As carolers make their rounds!
You remember that special girl
Dressed in both red and green;
With that sparkle in her eyes,
A sparkle you had never seen!
But where is she tonight,
This Christmas of forty-four;
No longer dress of green and red,
But a heavy flak-suit instead?
No music do I hear,
Falling softly on my ear;
But the sound of 300 29s
Leaving runways, line on line!
When this night is through
And the ships return to Saipan,
Why are ground crews looking west,
For the return of all the rest?
Could it be that Peace on Earth
Has finally come to a few,
Who, Christmas of forty-four,
Has finally given rest?
Deck the hardstands with holly,
�Tis the season to be jolly!
Count the planes who return no more,
At Christmastime in forty-four!
C. Douglas Caffey
C. Douglas Caffey is a disabled veteran of WWII. He
served (1944-1946) in the 509th Composite Bomb Group,
58th Wing, Air Photo Unit, 20th Air Force, United States
Army Air Force. It was the 509th who dropped the atomic
bombs on Japan and did the atom bomb tests at Bikini in
the Pacific. A chronic sufferer of PTSD since WWII, Doug
is a former college dean. He started writing poetry
several years ago and though he doesn't claim to be a
poet, he does claim to write from the heart.
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