Wouldst thou ever know what could possibly
be of such importance that thoughts of loss
and total separation; scary to me
fair memories of equipment SO boss.
There among the rain, the sleet and the snow
a greater friend no one shall ever find
its loyalty leaves nothing to question
In the deep forest when chilling winds blow
or icy treacherous mountains, snow-lined
it permits a cozy sleeping session.
It is the greatest — the GREATEST by far
favored by those who bear a heavy load
where every extra ounce makes soldiers spar
o’er who must bear it while marching the road
Mine woobie — most illustrious of make
simplicity is thy life-blood motto
True joy is its polyester finish.
It lets me nap anywhere — piece of cake,
filling with joy like a rifle on auto.
Its greatest traits will not soon diminish.
But not just when outside, no, clearly not
inside a barracks or shelter or hut
or when bed for a while shall be a cot
and giving tired eyes their chance to shut.
‘Tis always there when needed, never gone
for in my ruck pocket, it fits quite snug
and provides a break, even on a bus.
One guy in my platoon wore his like a swan
as he mocked the XO when beer we’d chug
or get locked out (somehow) making a fuss.
And now, to live without you, my heart breaks
I had to give you back to C.I.F.
It leaves behind awful pain that still aches
driving around aimless, blaring Mos Def
No amount of hip-hop or booze shall fix
the emptiness left by my prized sweetheart
disappearing into bureaucracy.
The loss hits me like a pallet of bricks
But we shall not be long apart
I shall — I swear! — be warm again with thee.
Artwork by Marc Osborne