On the last day of basic training

two draftees in dress greens,

shouldering M-14’s marched lockstep

in a prim parade singing

from the sides of our mouths,

“I love a parade, the tramping of the feet,

I love every beat I hear of a drum…,”

couldn’t stop laughing at the pomp

and silliness of the grim faces

on the review stand,

the flashes of brass, medals and ribbons,

chests out, stomachs in, upright chins,

couldn’t contain the hilarity

of parading our involuntary servitude

to the blare of John Philip Souza

And as the rocket jolted the fire base

inside the Cambodian border we laughed

at the craziness of diving headfirst

into the slosh of a bunker flooded

with cigarette butts and monsoon rain

Now the band’s here again, Main Street,

Boomtown, USA, and so am I,

quietly watching the spectacle repeat itself,

ridiculous enough, not quite as funny