December 25, 2006


By: Mark A. Smith
Major, USA, Retired

The twenty third Psalm of David
The words came to my mind,
While starving in a prison camp
No food or love to find,
The sneering cadre came again
Only rice and salt,
He said I was a criminal
The war my own fault.
Kept in a stinking hole
A chain around my leg,
Like the Pilgrim I could have more
But the Devil I won’t beg.
Wounded, sick and weary,
The words came so clear
As if read from the Bible,
By my own Mother Dear,
Peace on earth, good will to men,
For it was Christmas Day,
Just happy to still be here Lord,
I was heard to pray.
Then the big BUFF bombers came the earth began to shake
I saw the fear in my enemy’s eyes,
And they began to quake.
I looked up to the heavensFor that silver, mighty bird,
But it was the voice of David
The wounded prisoner heard,
Thou preparest a table before me,in the presence of mine enemies,
The plates began to arrive,with food for you and me.
They said the Party gave it,
But I knew the real source
My prayers had been answered,
An angel served each course.
John and David on cane’s hobbled,
George thin as a rail,Ken, Ed and Jim so ashen,
Like the wise men down the trail,
We bowed our heads in humble thanks,
To God and not the NVA,
They shouted for some smiles of thanks,
But I began to pray.
Just seven skinny warriors,
By now believers all,
We looked at our enemy
Knowing he would fall.
In Paris they gave away
All that blood had bought,
But I remember an Angel
And all that he brought.
We survived with a purpose
Ordered from on high,
Now when I need courage
I find it in the sky.
So all of you smart people
Who think we cannot win,
Commit an act against your Maker,
He won’t forgive again,
Not my freedom for another man’s freedom,
I prayed that Christmas Day,
That was a promise to my God
I haven’t lost my way,
You think I am full of wrath,
That I spoil for the fight,
But it has to do with a promise
Made on Christmas night.


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