'Twas The Night Before the Convoy
Or, Visit From Four Rats

by The West Coast Rats Poetry Society

Coquitlam, B.C.,
08/29/1999 01:39 am EDT
'Twas the night before the convoy and all through the camp
Not a creature was stirring not even a 'rat'
The netting was hung from the half-tracks with care
In hopes that the enemy wouldn't find them there

The soldiers were all nestled snug in their beds
While visions of nude women danced in their heads
Captain Dietrich in his tent with his maps all rolled up
Had just settled down to a well deserved nap

When out in the sand there arose such a clatter
That he sprang to his feet to see what was the matter
Away to the tent flap he flew in a dash
Just in time to witness a bright flash

The moon on the sand of the desert did glow
And gave the luster of midday to the objects below
To what his disbelieving eyes should appear
But two jeeps and the four rats he did fear

The Sergeant in his bush hat, there was no mistake
Dietrich pinched himself to make sure he was awake
Then more rapid than eagles the jeeps they came
And Troy shouted and called each man by name

Now Tully, now Moffitt, now Hitchcock, let's go
Let's shake it, let's move it, let's shoot all our foe
To the top of the dune, to the end of the camp
Now drive away, drive away, shoot out that lamp

As tumbleweeds before the sandstorm fly
When they meet with obstacles, it is do or die
Up to the depot the jeeps they flew
With the 50's blazing, the grenades they threw

Then in an instant Dietrich heard a kaboom
He knew without looking he had no ammo room
As Dietrich drew in his head and was turning around
In came Troy with a leap and a bound

He was dressed all in tan from his head to his foot
His clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot
He held a machine gun firm in his hand
He looked like a marauder straight from Queensland

His eyes how they blazed, his face set like stone
Standing five foot eleven, his voice a gruff tone
His brown leather boots, dusty and worn
An Australian bush hat on his head did adorn

A butt of a cigarette held tight in his teeth
And the smoke of it encircled his head like a wreath
He looked at Dietrich with a broad grin
"I can't imagine that I found you in"

Dietrich responded, "Where else would I be?"
And he gave a laugh, sarcastically
"To what do I owe this unpleasant surprise?
Surely not to order cheese burgers and fries."

Troy spoke not another word but watched as Moffitt went to work
He rifled the files and then turned with a jerk
"The map is right here, right under my nose."
Troy gave a nod and out through the back they chose

They sprang to their jeeps, Troy gave a whistle
Away they all drove as fast as a missile
And Dietrich heard Troy exclaim as the Rat Patrol drove out of sight
"We will be back again, Captain, some other night!"

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