by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

I’m a writer,
I do profess,
what a writer writes
is anyone’s guess.
I look for something
bizarre, something
different that’ll
make me a star.

I fear that I’m out of luck,
such subject matter
remains stuck in the
minds of writers fair,
sitting, writing out there
alone in a space  
of their own.
Where fancy comes
floating by and settles 
on their chosen script,
promoting admiration
from those on high.

Those who have already
climbed the precipice and
sit aloft on solid ground,
judging those who labor
at the foot of the mountain,
struggling mightily, 
a mark to make
on the great crown
of literature.

Alas, I shudder
at the task,
my pitiful lines
crash upon
the shore and
hardly disturb
the sand over which
they spend themselves.
Dare I claim
the title, Writer?

*     *     *
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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A Writer?