by Cpl. Robert Lin Cook
Jan 42-Sep 45

They say we 
are passing fast,
we warriors of
the distant past.
Our war a page
in history,
I spent it in
the USMC.

We know our days 
are numbered,
a fact that's
plain to see.
This gray I wear
within my hair,
the Corps I love
did not put there.
It was old 
Father Time.

He has a way of
sneaking up
on we who've
been around.
He tells us all
to be aware
that he'll be
hanging around
the square.
And one by one
he'll pick us off
and take us to
that lofty place
that's meant for
warriors such as us
who've served
our time in hell.

Oh well, I guess
it had to be,
at least I think
it is for me.
I'm trying hard
to keep afloat,
I'm bailing hard
in this old boat.
If I can manage 
a few more years,
I will go out
without a tear
and say to those
who're left behind:
"Marines die hard,
I've had my time.
Semper Fi!"

*     *     *
The authorRobert 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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