The Saluter and The Christmas Cards

The young boy wrote his Christmas Cards
Wrote his name as neatly as he knew
He put the ones aside to take to school
And in his bedroom he hid two
These cards were special for the boy
One for his Uncle, one for dad
He had to get them to them
And here’s the plan he had..

He knew that mail to Santa Claus
Made it up to the North Pole
But, he wasn’t sure just how he would
Get mail to his fathers soul
You see, the boys dad and his Uncle
were taken by an IED
They’d both been gone two years now
Since the young boy was only three

He visited the cenotaph in the park
Almost every day
He’d stop and he’d salute it
And then he’d go and play
It was a gentle hi to both of them
For he knew that at this place
He could feel them staring down on him
Though he’d forgotten his dad’s face

He took the cards down to the park
And he left them by a wreath
that was still there from November
He laid his two cards underneath
A man was walking past the boy
And he saw the boy salute
But, he also saw the Christmas cards
And he thought the whole thing cute

He waited for the boy to leave
And he opened one to read
It said  “Merry Christmas” , “Thank You”
“I miss you, yes indeed”
The man went to the nearest school
to ask about the lad
To find out if this one young boy
Was a student that they had

A teacher overheard his tale
And called the man in for a talk
At the end she sat there crying
She had to go out for a walk
She went to find his teacher
Told the tale of this young man
Then between them they sat down and
They both devised a plan

The next day when the class began
Christmas Cards they all would write
Each one was for a soldier
And to them this just seemed right
They would set up a class field trip
To see the vets up on the hill
In the special Veterans Hospital
to the kids, this was a thrill

The hospital was telephoned
And the vets were set to meet
Miss Johnson and Miss Watson’s class
To get their Christmas treat
The kids were dressed in sunday best
Like they were a month ago
But, this time it was different
This time there would be snow

Each card said “Merry Christmas”
All said thank you, some were sad
To think this project started with
A card for a boys dad
After all was done and dusted
The kids continued on
They went down to the cenotaph
To give their cards to those now gone

The story made it through the school
And each day another class
Wrote Christmas cards to soldiers
And they delivered them en masse
By the action of a little boy
who wasn’t locked to a computer
He started a tradition
this young boy, the saluter.

Please read “The Saluter”, if you haven’t already to get an idea of who this young boy in the poem is.

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