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9/2/09

COUNTING CADENCE



September comes--a rattle of drums,
A thunder of dress parades,
Battalions pass in a streaming mass
Under the colonnades,
The names ring out as plebelings shout
Passing Tripoli Monument,
And old grads gaze, think of younger days,
From the shade of a taut white tent.

The battalions wheel, with a flash of steel,
To their places, a broad array
Across Worden Field--the reports are pealed,
(It's "twenty" and "ten" today).
The Chiefs' Band plays, and the stripers raise
Their swords in a stiff salute,
A sharp smack-smack comes echoing back
As the massed troops execute.

All too soon, it's done--there's the setting sun,
And the order "Pass in Review",
Spectators stand with their hats in hand
When the Color Guard marches through.
[Did you feel the thrill? Was it merely drill
That we followed, a dull routine?
Did you sense the shades, at our dress parades,
Moving ranks, silent, unseen?]

RR 8-19-09

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