THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE
by Carol Ann Duffy
Christmas Eve in the trenches of France,
the guns were quiet.
The dead lay still in No Man’s Land –
Freddie, Franz, Friedrich, Frank…
The moon, like a medal, hung in the clear, cold sky.
Then flickering flames from the other side
danced in their eyes,
as Christmas Trees in their dozens shone,
candlelit on the parapets,
and they started to sing, all down the German lines.
So Christmas dawned, wrapped in mist,
to open itself
and offer the day like a gift
for Harry, Hugo, Hermann, Henry, Heinz…
with whistles, waves, cheers, shouts, laughs.