Hikes
by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

I never understood,
although they said I should,
the fundamental lesson 
of a hike.

I slogged over beach and ground
for reasons I thought not sound
and never learned
 a cotton-pickin' thing.

I was as hard as rocks
from runnin' around
those boondocks,
I couldn't have been 
more muscular or fit.

If they thought that with this trainin'
there was somethin' I was gainin'
then their thinkin'
was a damn site off.

So I did the twenty-milers,
sore and blistered as I was,
and I pulled them
stupid gun carts
all the way.

If I'd had the guts
I would have said
you can screw it!
I ain't pullin' no
damn gun carts
today.

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

>>>  Poetry Page
>>>  Memoir Page