Morning March

IMG_2508Reading some old letters I wrote home from basic training in the US Army, I see references to marching and close order drill. Those eight weeks of training made me the most physically fit I’ve ever been in my life.  A lot has changed since those days, but I still try to keep up a regular walking pace.  Like Stan Grayson at Dinkel Island (Return of Bliss), I tackle a brisk two-mile walk as many mornings as possible each week.  It pays off in energy, fitness and overall health.

Not long ago I wrote a free-verse poem to capture the flavor of that morning ritual.  It goes like this:

Arms swinging, head erect, face forward,

skinny legs with knobby knees pacing off

a fresh day’s start.

Hup-two-three-four–cadence echoes

decades old but always fresh.  Count cadence,

count:  one, two, three, four.  Once-booted feet

now Nike clad pounding out the beat through

cul-de-sac’d streets, manicured lawns and

brick-walled homes.

Images half-a-century old recall the drummer’s pacing

beat.  Eyes right!  Get in step!  Hup, tow, three, four.

Chirping birds replace the marching bands.

The past becomes the present.  Mission now:

tune the heart, tame the prostate.  Cadence count!

One, tow, three, four.

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