Basic

You’re left, You’re right

the Drill Sargent intones

yesterday we were civilians

today we’re soldiers

learning how to walk

how to obey orders

even when they seem insane

You’re left, You’re right

we march along trying

to understand what this is about

carrying our rifles, bayonets, canteens

in the heat of the day, through woods

we march, learning how to kill

that little yellow gook,

whom we never met before.

In the rain and in the mud

with red Georgia clay clinging

to our clothes and boots

we march, singing about her

that girl who waits at home

wearing that yellow ribbon 

we march for our mother’s

our families and country

we march to the beat of war drums

You’re left, You’re right

the Drill Sargent is relentless

the butt of our weapons dig in

backs are sore, feet hot

yet we march, for war is upon us

look to your right, look left

whose face will we not see again

the bloom of youth

another lost generation

with the look of ghosts.

You’re left, You’re right, You’re left.

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