Black and White By Raymond Roy
Tun Tavern 1775
Espirit de Corps they call it , a willingness to die. Not a jury’s verdict, but boot camp on P.I.
Devil dogs before them, earned title that they seek,
Transformation from fatherless, phony tough, crazy and meek.
Stand on yellow footprints , wee hours of the morn, step between polished doors through which an oath is sworn.
Recruits white, black, brown,many color of a hand,
Dreads, bushy and straight hair, on barbers floor will land.
Drill instructors don’t discriminate, by race, color or creed, all are equally worthless until becoming the Marine Corps breed.
Although this was a flash fiction challenge, the only fiction in this poem is that I went to US Marine Corps boot camp in San Diego rather than the P.I. (Parris Island) I thank God every day for the kick in the pants the USMC gave me back in 1981.
USMC Plt. 2045 1981
Written for Flash Fiction writing challenge in which based on the photo prompt (pictured above) write exactly 99 words(no more, no less) to join the challenge and read other stories based on this prompt, click Here
That final line…wow!
What a kind comment:) thank you so much Liz ❤️
Great detail and love the rhyme!
Thank you for the kind comment Sascha 🙂
I liked this poem and I appreciate the tribute you’re giving to the Marines here. Also, thank you for the history lesson (Tun Tavern) and information (yellow footprints). I’ve always wondered if screaming drill instructors were as terrifying as they’re depicted in movies and I guess they are!
Thanks so much Micheal. For a barely 18yr kid.. quite the eye opener. To my advantage was that I was a late bloomer and comparatively smaller in stature. My life to that point, I had learned to take allot of crap.. not so lucky were the 6’2” 220lb recruits the DIs singled out the first day and had them blubbering like a baby.. I appreciate you reading and commenting.
“…all are equally worthless until becoming the Marine Corps breed.” Hoorah! (sorry, I’m an Army wife) okay, Oorah! Grandpa was a Marine. Great use of poetic verse, weaving history, and experience where color doesn’t matter because the brothers are one breed. How about gender? Heard a great song about a female soldier sing, “I’m a brother, too.”
Yes all one family:) Gender, man I will have to stretch my poetry prowess a little bit more. Ooorah!
I don’t know about you but poems close to your center seem to come easy. And to the spouses many unspoken heroes .
Peace to you.
Just spent my afternoon with three Vietnam vets and their wives. Wish I could have caught all their stories. Some are hilarious, others poignant. Poetry doesn’t come naturally to me, but I can catch a good tale.