Pat on the Run

You will be given six miles thirty six minutes and forty pounds.
The fear birds you up in the air and running
the beer from last night if you are daring won’t matter
The dark force working the legs caroms off the grass
Quickly faster than crickets singing
O’Toole in front of you is working on the ground
Like an opened water hydrant gasping for air.
I am yelling O’toole don’t stop
You are back drinking summer beer suddenly
O’toole shows up his fat face full of ale
Working on a keg standing all aplomb near the Atlantic
O’toole is down for the count
O’toole is in the barracks with forty Malt Liquors
He is smoking Pall Malls and Gauloises for kicks
O’tool is mowing the grass like sheep
O’toole is waving his arms in the Ocean Drunk
O’toole is standing on a roof in a strange outfit fingering the sun
O’toole is playing taps three A.M.
O’toole is last night churning tonight
O’toole is fifteen minutes forty seconds from zero
O’toole is up and running again happy holiday of life
O’toole is heard laughing that night.

-- Ed Rosenthal, Parris Island, 1968