Didya ever watch a brass’at
inspectin’ all his troops,
Lookin’ at yer chin-straps
an your shinin’ boots?
Examinin’ your rifles,
(no crow’s nest in the bore)
No rust upon the back sight
no dust upon the fore.
Seein’ web is fittin’ proper
no slack belts an’ such,
Doesn’t matter if its comfor’ble
you don’t matter much.
As long as all is spic an’ span
(all that meets his eye)
The brass’at doesn’t give a damn
if you live or die.
Then they take yuh out on “schemes”
They say to train the officers
but I know better-----See!
They march yuh eighteen miles by day
and continya half the night,
Yuh sleeps a hundred miles from home
and rise at dawn to fight.
To grapple with imagined foes
(of course there’s hundreds slain)
And when at last the battle’s won,
back home yuh march again.
I don’t know who makes brass’ats,
or who controls the reins,
But this at least is plain to me,
they’re not picked for their BRAINS!
[Editor’s note: The poem was included at the end of the transcription of the letter of April 17, 1942.]