by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Too late to climb Mt. Everest
to take tall ships to sea
or trek a desert hot and wide
or a young Marine to be

Too late to do Paris
in tux and tails and tie,
too late to bet a thousand
and let the winnings ride

Too late to fly above the clouds
in a swift and silver plane,
to dive beneath the ocean
and claim a ship’s remains

Too late to race in Indy
and get the checkered flag,
too late to attend the Preakness
and stand with a winning nag

Too late to command troops
and take a stalwart stand
to rout the hated enemy,
drive him from the land

All these things I dreamed of
when I was young at heart
but now my time has fleeted,
I’ve no time to start

Days that are ahead of me
grow smaller by the sun,
I shall not give me up
until my race is done

*     *     *
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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Too Late