“How ‘The Sick’ Treat Ill”*

(December 30, 2018)

my first week-long cold

athletic nose, noisome hack

day after ‘flu’ shot

*(Just one day after I got an influenza vaccination I came down with my first cold in I-Don’t-Know-How-Long. No fever. No chills. No flu signposts: just a demon-awful cold. A week of praising mom for making me all those red paisley bandanna handkerchiefs lo those many decades past: still a passel left – and each got a workout. Then I discovered the stash of modern meds…only halfway won the battle. A week later still a sniffle, still a linger of cough but the bandanas are ready to go on strike…and so am I.)

“Hose-End Spray” Tanka 2210

(December 30, 2018)

hose-end spray-nozzel

shower one weary would-be

clean old gardener

almost as cold-brisk as ones

at ITR* decades past

*(ITR – Infantry Training Regiment, Camp Geiger, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina: where Marine recruits are sent for infantry training – all Marines, even officers, take infantry training and at best – and last – resort are considered riflemen. At Camp Geiger in December and January of 1967 and 68 as some of my fellow Parris Island recruits were fighting and dying in Hue City and throughout the northern provinces of Vietnam, I found but four showerheads in the cavernous facility afforded P Company, 1st ITR, had any warm or even hot water. And each had a throng of recruits and trainees dipping into the stream to went down and then lather up outside the knot of naked Marines and then dip back again into the hot to rinse. I said “To Hell with That: I took a gulp of humid courage and stepped into an ice-cold December and later early January cold shower – I had learned the trick of not minding the cold water at Boot Camp, even in our comfortable home of two-story WWI 1st Battalion “heads” at PI and later at the modern brick three-story palaces at the Rifle Range where 3rd Battalion (Disneyland) resided, that just so many shower heads held hot water and a fair to larger number did not: quick way to shower and get dry and into clean utilities was not to mind the cold. Worked at PISC and worked fine at Geiger, too. And it still works fine today when I get too dirty to track into the house. And, yes, it is completely unviewable and thus I will not have to register as a nutcase. That already should have been most apparent. Besides, brisk is beautiful.)