by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan. 1942–Sep 1945

The sky is loosing
its inky black,
the sun is but
a thought.
The sergeant looks
above the bow
and sees the 
outline of an island.
The beach
is not yet clear,
the churning prop
thrusts ahead,
defying every wave.
A thousand yards
to travel
and then. . .

Above our heads
a sound 
we have not heard,
its rushing passage
leaves no doubt
of its intent.
The engine
drops its RPM
and touches
bottom sand.
Troops know the sign
from a dozen landings,
and are poised
to spill over 
the ramp,
which has dropped
suddenly to the 
waiting surf.

Marines surge forward
through the gap!
The water 
yet to warm,
it chills them through
their leggings
and soaks their
rugged shoes.
But they are
not aware of this;
there is too much
of which to think.

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