by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

They took me 
to the hospital
because of feelings dire,
I didn’t think
I was that bad
though I was on fire.
They registered me
at the front desk
and set about
to do their thing.
First they punctured
me in a manner
that was painful:
a needle is no
friend of mine,
although they say
it's not true.

They lay me on a gurney
and wheeled me
down the hall,
I landed in 218;
room was kinda small.
A cheery little
place it was with
beepin’ machines

One machine
ran day and night,
pumpin’ away with
all its might
fillin’ me up with
a saline solution
and other stuff 
I dare not mention.

Then they told
me I'd have a 
minor operation.
It seems my old
gall bladder had
taken a vacation,
leaving a lot of 
rocks in there
that screwed up
the rotation.

They wheeled me out
bed and all
to where they
did the cutting.
They gave me a shot
of what, I forgot,
but it left me
non-compos mentis.

Woke up in my room
just about noon
with no memory
of things gone by.
I guess, all in all,
as I recall it
coulda been worse
if not better.

So I think I shall be
thankful you see
that it went as 
well as it did.

*     *     *
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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The Hospital