“Those Two Yellow Footprints”*


Those two yellow prints:

feet at forty-five degrees,

we would come to know!

 

  • (An ungentle welcome at 3 a.m. at Parris Island, South Caroline U. S. Marine Corps Recruit Training Regiment’s “welcoming” station.  We were cursed, cajoled and sometime posture-adjusted off that bus – no time to load a cattle car for us this was wartime and the “frills” were trimmed.  One drill instructor in the buss, one at the “hatch” (door) pointing to a third DI barking and shoving timid recruits onto the yellow footprints that seemed to glow on their own in a moonless night and the small yellow pools of light from anemic streetlights far away shed none there – but glow those footprints did.  And that was our first lesson.  Forty-five degrees, heels just touching.  The rest of the lesson ingrained as only a USMC Drill Instructor would and did. This written in conjunction with several other haiku between 3:18 a.m. and 3:58 a.m., each done separately as I lay abed on the livingroom couch awaiting Hurricane Irma’s continuous howls to puncture not just the night but any of several big windows just two days before I was to enter Marine boot camp some 50 years previously.  Why that memory surfaced no longer mystifies.)

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