Welcome to the
Cult of War,
this will be your

There is no Race
all Recruits are green,
though dark green 
was the addendum.
I guess that we’ll
just pretend then.

The Drill Instructor’s
felt Campaign cover,
tilted forward, just so,
seemed to bark 
all on its own,
in Bulldog tones.

Marines scowling,
scared eighteen year olds
I felt old at twenty-one,
wanted to run,
fantasized about climbing
atop the early morning
delivery trucks, when I
had firewatch.

Floors became decks;
walls, bulkheads;
bunkbeds, racks.
They made us say our
prayers at Taps.

The Lord’s Prayer,
(what of Mars?)
and bless our M16s.
I didn’t dream
for thirteen weeks,
but talked in my sleep,
growling, “Ready, Step! Ready, Step!”
or so I was told at revellie,
feeling like I’d barely slept.
M. Zane McClellan 
Copyright © 2017
All rights reserved

* This series of Core experiences of a dark green Marine are inspired by Frank Prem‘s poetic dissertation on psychiatric nursing.
He expressed an interest in reading more of my USMC service, so you have him to blame, or thank.