by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

Back when I was 21
and that big-ass war
had just begun,
I signed my self
into the Corps.

I gave my girl
a diamond ring,
'twarn’t too big
but a pretty thing,
I figured we were
hitched fer life.

I wasn’t much for writin’,
I was too busy fightin’,
besides what can you tell
a girl of war?

I was there on Guadalcanal
when Dear John showed
and I could tell it
was bye-bye birdie
for such as me.

I gotta’ admit 
I was taken aback
by this sudden attack
but I shed no tears
in passing.

I guess I wasn’t
much in love,
I just gave my heart
a little shove
and went on with
the fighting.

Years have passed
since that time and
I think about it
from time to time and
know it was for the best.

For now I have
a fine, fine wife,
two daughters
and a son, for life.
I own my house 
and the car I drive.
I could say, and
I surely do,
that I have finally
arrived. Whew!
At last!

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

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