Many miles and many years

from the Cambodian Border

I wake these days at ground level,

a better soldier who has tasted dust,

crawled on ambush patrol eager

to fire on any man or woman

charging me with an urge to kill,

no longer fearful, no longer vain

As for my son, my daughter,

and the many wars to come,

let me stand their watch so

they too may have lovers,

cherish each smooth detail,

eat and drink well, see the world

in its many ways and peoples,

walk forests and streams peacefully,

lay on beaches to take the sun,

listen to the shrieks of swirling gulls,

search waters of oceans and calm lakes

Take me and leave them alone

I am good at this gruesome business

I passed the course and it was easy