Many miles and many nightmares

from the Cambodian Border

I wake these days at ground level,

a better soldier who has tasted dust,

crawled on ambush patrol

ready to fire on any man or woman

charging me with an urge to kill,

no longer afraid, no longer vain


Let me stand for my son,

my daughter,

and the many wars to come,

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 many peoples,

walk forests, cross streams peacefully,

lay on beaches to take the sun,

hear the shrieks of swirling gulls,

swim waters of oceans and calm lakes


Let those who make wars

be those who fight them


Take me and leave my children

I am good at this gruesome business

I passed the course and it

comes easy now