by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Don’t reckon I will slog along
with our rugged troops,
to evaluate myself
I ain’t worth a poop.
My legs give out
in one damn mile, 
I can’t march
with any style,
I’m glad when I get back
to my front door.

I remember when
I was a boot
and fell out to
march the route
with full pack and
a gun to shoot and
there upon my head
a pot of iron.

We made all
 those fifteen miles
and came back in
with a laugh and smiles
like we were on 
picnic for the day.

‘Course I must admit
that I was a tough
little shit who
wasn’t yet dry 
behind the ears.
With time and a
hard-ass Sarge I
became a considerable

I do not like to see myself
standing before a mirror,
I see all the weakness
that time did not endure.
They say I’m lucky
to be in the shape I’m in,
the years that I have garnered
are light upon my skin.
Most faculties
 are still in place
though show some
sign of wear.

So here’s to the good ol’ days
before we were old and gray,
as long as memory
holds out,
we'll always be
 that way.

*     *     *
The author: Robert Lin Cook served with Reg. Weapons Co. (2d-2d) from 1942-44, at Guadalcanal and Tarawa during a 33-month overseas tour.

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