Best Defense

A Charlie Sherpa poem: ‘Grace, MRE’

Here’s a poem from his book, 'Welcome to FOB Haiku.'

IWOJIMA, TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 14: An MRE pack is seen washed up on Invasion beach on Iwo Jima Island during Field Carrier Landing Practice for the Carrier Air Wing 5 of U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi on May 14, 2014 in Iwojima, Tokyo, Japan. The Iwo Jima Island is the setting of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Japan in 1945. Civilian access to the island is restricted to memorial attendees, workers for the naval air base, and meteorological agency officials.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
IWOJIMA, TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 14: An MRE pack is seen washed up on Invasion beach on Iwo Jima Island during Field Carrier Landing Practice for the Carrier Air Wing 5 of U.S. Naval Air Facility Atsugi on May 14, 2014 in Iwojima, Tokyo, Japan. The Iwo Jima Island is the setting of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Japan in 1945. Civilian access to the island is restricted to memorial attendees, workers for the naval air base, and meteorological agency officials. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

 

Here’s a poem from his book, Welcome to FOB Haiku:

GRACE, READY-TO-EAT

Give us this day, some shelf-stable bread,
and potable water enough to drink
and to activate the chemical heater.

And maybe a “rock or something” on which
to lean the steaming mess, entrée and all,
as depicted and described in this diagram.

Forgive us our trespasses,
for we have trespassed a lot today —
kinda goes with the territory, and the job.

And deliver us from evil,
particularly that which we have done
unto others. See also: “trespasses,” above.

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory.

And ours is 1,200 calories of brown-bag easy living.
“Every day is a holiday. Every day is a feast.”
Just go easy on the crackers. And don’t eat the Charms.

Because those are bad luck.

Amen.

(Reprinted, with the author’s permission, from Welcome to FOB Haiku.)

Photo credit: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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