Christmas, 2009 or 2010. Probably 2009. No time for poetry in 10. Read this aloud in the rec hooch between showings of A Christmas Story.
Bibi Mahroo clean and white-capped with snow, and
The winds of the winter have started to blow.
Tightly in for the season the insurgents are tucked,
Grumbling "This year the final offensive was fucked."
As the drones buzz the treetops with quiet and care,
Suicide bombers dream of their virgins fair.
They hope by the spring to punch out their tickets,
Shouting "Allah Akbar" in the razorwire thickets.
Subcommanders are scowling over teas sweet and green,
Short of food, bullets, boots - their supplies getting mean.
As the high ranking members cross border to Pak,
The junior Taliban suffer from lack.
They will hole up, and sulk, and complain of their state,
While Infidel invaders have holidays to celebrate.
As we warm ourselves next to the year's Yule log fire,
Our hearts are warmed, too, by the Taliban's ire.
Though invitations extended to come in from the cold,
The elders in power maintain grudges old.
They have promised to die in defense of their hate,
So we've promised to help them to embrace their fate.
In the spirit of Christmas we'll sip and we'll sup,
And we'll talk about Spring, when we'll fuck their shit up.
They will trickle from hilltops just as water thaws,
And they'll walk into danger, our crocodile's jaws.
Though we turn a fresh page, every year the same story;
They'll die in their bunches looking for their God's glory.
Institutional lessons they refuse to learn,
Knowing only to murder, only able to burn.
So enjoy winter's quiet and cherish her ice,
The cold kills off enemies, roaches, and lice.
She reduces the numbers of pests 'cross the board,
And we can grow fat on our holiday hoard.
Snacks and sweets packed with love by our family at home,
More precious than blessings from Popes, coiffed, in Rome.
Leave out cookies and milk for the Post Office slags,
Santa can't make it here, he draws fire and frags.
He did try it once, almost ten years ago,
But that ended in tears, and with blood in the snow.
But we bore up his corpse as a symbol of hope,
Lashed him onto the chopper with linked ammo as rope.
MEDIVAC'ed his fat ass into Bagram post haste,
As Apaches layed Taliban grinches to waste.
Sewed him up, patched his suit, set him back in the sled,
He was ready to go once the reindeer'd been fed.
Santa left what was left of our gifts on the pad,
Until we saw the state of his load, scorched and sad.
"Santa," we said, with dirty, tearful smiles,
"Salvage what you can from our torn little piles."
"There's no joy in this place, and our hopes are forlorn,
These rough men can embrace a bare tree in the morn.
Though our countrymens' children have been good all the year,
That you haven't enough gifts for them now is our fear."
Santa's elves counted boxes and ribbons and bows,
And they checked childrens' names seprated in rows.
"They speak true, they speak true!" was the little green shout,
And at Santa's stout nod from the sled they poured out.
Draped in paper and tape they rewrapped and retagged,
Rearranged and repacked and reboxed and rebagged.
Santa supervised close as we watched with delight,
And he said "It grows late, I must restart my flight."
We cleared out the airspace and made room in the stack,
And he lashed at his reindeer, yelling "Pick up the slack!"
No one was the wiser that Santa'd been hit -
The good kids got presents, and bad kids threw fits.
Christmas morn was confusion from many a babe -
"I asked for some LEGO, not a thermate grenade!"
Though Americans cheered for their pistols and rifles,
Europeans found bullets to be strange little trifles.
Though we've not seen him again, we hear rumour has it
Santa's added to tradition a new, prudent habit.
Under gifts wrapped with care and tucked under the seat,
Santa sets out Christmas Eve packing three kinds of heat.
Under robes red and white and built into his sleigh
Is the best armor plating you can buy today.
And he rolls with a convoy of mercen'ry elves
Who have mounted ma deuces and armor themselves.
With his upgrades and guards and his outlook on life
We felt sure he could handle Afghanistan's strife.
But the year after that we got an undated letter
And the message inside made us all feel much better.
"My friends in the mountains, seasons' greetings to you -
I know I am missed, and your sentiments true,
But I can't risk again such a perilous flight.
I've a favor to ask, if that would be alright."
"I deputize each of you down to the last man,
To deliver these gifts to the Taliban."
And attached to the letter were boxes and bins,
Shiny ammo and rockets with red and white fins.
"My elves have retooled to supply you with cheer,
And these claymores should help when the shitheads get near.
Every Christmas I'll send all the steel that you need,
All the fuel for your birds, and bandages when you bleed."
Our hearts swelled that day and we were filled with pride,
The fat man, our Santa, was taking our side.
We knew then we'd be listed each year on the scroll
Under NICE and not NAUGHTY for our fight on this knoll.