Iron Pot
by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 1942-Sep 1945

Oh dear, Oh dear!
Have I forgot
to glorify
that sacred pot
I wore upon
my hollow head?

I've wrote about
my  'ol canteen,
my mess kit
and the lot.
How could I
ever forget
to praise 
that rugged 
old iron pot?

Have you ever
had shrapnel
ricocheting
off your head?
I know that 
you were happy
you didn't
turn up dead.

When you needed
something
from which you
 could shave,
that rusty lookin' object
was your ace of spades.

It was good for
washin' skivvies
or for warming
rations 'C' and
you could dig 
a foxhole,
as deep as 
it need be.

It was hot as
bloody blazes
a-ploddin'
on patrol.
It was even hotter
dodging bullets
in a hole.

No matter what
a pain it was
to wear upon 
 my head,
if I'd not
worn it
I'd likely
be dead.

When I turned
it in that day
along with other junk,
I gave to it
a kindly pat
as upon a box
it sat and said,
"So long old friend,
I'm glad we are
at journey's end."

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

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