"THEY ALSO SERVE WHO ONLY SIT" by Greg Ogletree

Post your missile poems, songs and other musings here.

"THEY ALSO SERVE WHO ONLY SIT" by Greg Ogletree

Postby AE on Sun Jul 16, 2006 12:27 am

While I was on crew at Malmstrom back in the 1980s, protesting nukes--and especially missiles--was all the rage by fringe groups, and even some mainline churches. Every year at Easter there was a demonstration staged at the main gate and we were advised to use the back entrance. I composed the following in 1986 (it was inspired by, and is based on, a poem with the same title, about baby-sitters, written in 1945 by Phyllis McGinley and published in The New Yorker, which I happened to read during one of those annual protests).


THEY ALSO SERVE WHO ONLY SIT

In the current generation
While peace-niks talk and pray,
Some sentinel saved the nation,
Some crew dog won the day.

At base gates some chant and linger,
Acting the Spartan type.
A few will raise the finger,
While others just paint their gripe.

But nowdays let voices praise,
With vigor and with power,
Those ever-ready missileers who keep
A watch upon our nation's sleep
While sitting beneath the prairies, deep,
For a dollar sixty-five an hour.

Come drink to them in bitters,
Or toast their fame in stout;
The ever-vigilant waiting sitters,
Who sit while we dine out.

They leave before the day breaks,
Not knowing when they'll return,
And drive past valleys, hills, and lakes,
To sites whose names they learn.

They cast their looks on sundry books
While entombed within the pit.
Deprived of beer or brandy,
At abstinence they're handy;
But still, with me it's dandy,
So long as they will sit.

For the Dove is found within the church,
Preaching to the choir;
And the Hawk is balanced on his perch,
Calling him a liar.

The Left and Right give me the jitters,
Telling tales of woe;
Thank God we have the missile sitters
To keep the status quo!

No orator's rage can they assauge;
No view can they espouse;
But in their high-back they can sit
And turn the TV dial a bit
Tp ease our conscience while we flit
To someone else's house.

They watch the pitchers pitch no-hitters
And they wear down the telephone;
But ah, those useful sitters
Willingly sit while we are prone.

Others may join the ranks of quitters,
Join all the faithless crew;
You can bet the combat-ready missile sitters
Will see the crisis through!

Greg Ogletree, 1986
ILCS Class 31 / ALCS Class 90-2
490 SMS - 341 SMW/DOTI - 4315 CCTS - 4 ACCS - 2 ACCS
... and damned proud of every single one of my 476 nuclear alerts in SAC!
User avatar
AE
3 RVs
3 RVs
 
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:58 am
Location: Near Vandenberg

Return to The Missile Muse

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron