One of Her Own

Yesterday, while I waited for my neurologist at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, an old Marine with a prosthetic leg and a killer grin, said to me, “Hey, Devil Dog, so what she turned you into? She [the Marine Corps] made me a lean, mean, one-legged fighting machine.” He roared, and I joined him with a few complicit cackles.

I’ve been thinking about the old-timer’s question, asking myself, What did a decade of service in the Marine Corps turn me into? The poem below is part of my response:

“One of Her Own”
She didn’t make me.
I was a warrior
(baring teeth and growling)
before she touched my heart
and broke a few bones.

She didn’t make me;
but in her arms
I found my sharpest edges.

No, she didn’t make me.
I was already my Self.
But…
she did look at me,
while chanting, “You are
one of the Few, the Proud,
one of my very own
forevermore.”
.

One of Her Own, by Magaly Guerrero
if you are one of “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.”
then Happy Birthday!
*you look so freaking good for 240 years!*

linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads,Tuesday Platform

65 thoughts on “One of Her Own

  1. Congrats Magaly — that’s a steel that I would never have guessed from all I’ve read from you, but it makes perfect sense now. Thanks for what you did, and for how it gives your work such clarity of purpose.

  2. you are like a beautifully unearthed gem, so many facets shinning through in etching your essence a a jewel
    A really nice telling in your poem today. have a good Tuesday

    much love…

  3. I read this earlier this morning and wanted to cogitate on it for a while. Having come of age during the Vietnam War, I have had several friends and classmates in various branches of the armed services. For those that entered voluntarily, I was always struck by how the branch they entered fit them so well. In my mind, you could be the perfect recruiting poster for the Marines. You are still storming beaches, still saving comrades, still honoring the courage you find in yourself and others. You are a Warrior Queen! Thank you for your service!

  4. This was great, Magaly. I was in the Army half your time, five years. It didn’t break anything on me except my hearing (from the firing ranges). But it grow me up.
    BTW, our youngest granddaughter’s school tomorrow is having breakfast for Veteran relatives and a guest (Mrs. Jim with me). The kids, first graders, have a stage production prepared for us.
    ..

    • My primary MOS is armorer. I was also an instructor at Marine Corps Combat Training–my left ear is a mess with its own ringing bells. So I totally get it.

      I bet your granddaughter is super excited about showing you off. How wonderful!

  5. I think this is one of the best things you’ve ever written darlin. And it goes along with some thoughts I was thinking the other day. Living with two bipolar patients has made me become a stronger person.

    I thought I was mature before. But looking back, I can see where I only had the start of the maturity and mental strength I’d need to love someone wholeheartedly as I do my husband and daughter. Not many spouses can survive a relationship with a mentally ill patient. So once in awhile, I give myself a little perspective. And a well deserved pat on the back for not joining the insanity.

    • I’m glad you feel so strong about this piece. I believe that those things (writings, paintings…) where we can see ourselves become very important to our hearts. When we understand just what someone else is talking about, their words look brighter. Your family is lucky to have you, as I’m sure they already know… And you are lucky to have them, too, of course… For many times, we have to be with our backs against the wall before we can see who we really are.

  6. When I woke up this morning I realized that it was the Corps Birthday and whispered as I have for over 40 years, Uuuuurah Marine. Such a lovely grin came upon his face and his repeated a very resounding Uuuuuurah as well.
    Thanks for your service to the Corps and being such a tremendous and positive example of who a Marine is, whether active or not. Makes an Oma so proud.
    Love your beautiful and powerful words.

    • I’m smiling from ear to ear, right now… because I can see your Sweet Man’s grin in my mind. As we both know, a Marine never stops being a Marine, and having the better half of our hearts remember that is a great thing.

      Hugs and so much love, my Oma! ♥

  7. Yes, that was what the Marines had done to him, one-legged and all. Was he bitter?Certainly not! He was a Marine heart and soul and not regretting at all. Glad you showed this side of him Magaly!

    Hank

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