by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942–Sep 1945

A tin hat for my pillow
layin’ on wet ground,
my poncho between 
me and dampness.
It is all around
the night is dark as hades
can’t see a blasted thing
my ears have taken over.
When I’m on the watch
every snap and crackle
makes me cringe a lot.

We’ve tramped
the trail to no avail
haven’t seen a thing.
It’s just as well,
it would be hell
if we ran into trouble.
We were sent to 
search and kill and
do it on the double.

When you’re sent on patrol and
don’t know where you’re goin’
you’re bound to be
just like me
a little tense
at goin’.

I’ll be glad
when we get back
and things are normal.
As you can see
patrols ain’t for me
I ain’t built for 
jungle cruisin’.

So put me on the firing line
where I know what 
I’m doing.
I’d rather be
a shootin’ than
through the jungle
rootin’, that ain’t
where I want to be.

*     *     *
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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On Patrol