Friday, December 17, 2004

The Touch of The Drill Sergeant's Hand

I'm taking a little poetic license here. I just came across an old poem called "The Touch of the Master's Hand" by Myra Brooks Welch and I've adapted it to the drill sergeant. It's hokey, but I had fun playing with it. Enjoy!


He was scrawny and scared, and the Brigadier
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the young recruit
And he tried to suppress a smile.
“What do you reckon, good folks,” he cried,
“How long will he last, let’s see?”
"One week, one week”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two weeks, and who’ll make it three?
Three weeks, once; three weeks twice’
Going for three---” But no,
From the room, far back, a stern man came
and circled the greenhorn, slow.
Then shaking the dust from the young recruit
and training him night and day,
In nine short weeks he created a man,
A soldier in every way.

The training ceased and the Brigadier,
With a voice that was quiet and older,
Said “Now what do you think of this young recruit?”
And he stood tall next to the soldier.
“A decade he’ll last,” “and who’ll make it two?”
“Two decades!” “And who’ll make it three?
Three decades, once, three decades, twice,
and going and gone.” said he.
The people cheered, and some parents cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed his worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a drill sergeant’s hand.”

And many a boy with life out of tune,
And battered by the high school brute
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like this young recruit.
A “toke of pot,” a glass of wine;
A game - and he travels on.
He is “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the drill sergeant comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the drill sergeant’s hand.

No comments: