by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

They say wisdom comes
with passing years
brought on by grief
and many tears,
perhaps a smile
will come now and then
or even a very healthy grin.

I think wisdom is
somewhat a myth
established by some
elderly know-it-all
whose importance needs
a good overhaul.
If we put all we know together
and sort out all that may be good
we may come up with
an answer to all.

I don’t claim to be a sage,
what I know won’t fill a page
but over time,
between prose and rhyme,
I've gathered up a passel
of learned stuff.

Things I learned in the Corps
don’t do me no good no more
‘cause I ain’t a fightin’ in the war
but since those days of yore
tryin’ to get rich from poor
I have learned many
useful things.

I learned to use a shovel
when I was a young devil
back there in the CCC
and then I went to school,
studied like a fool and
came out with a degree.

Since then I’ve
worked and struggled,
got a house that ain’t no hovel
and raised a couple of kids.
Got a wife that’s cute and pretty
and as I finish up this ditty
I say luck is more likely
than wisdom. 

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

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They Say