Discussing the Pacific War, a student asked of me,
"Why take so small an island, isolated, far at sea? "
I told the class what we had done; it jogged my memory.
At home, I wrote that epic down in verse and poetry.
We had to capture Iwo Jima, killing most its men.
No other way could it be done, from landing to the end.
It's how I answer inquiries, some sixty years 'tis now;
And every time I speak of it, I'm wondered by the "how."
With twenty thousand Japanese, perhaps two thousand more,