We arose as skeletons
laboring our joints from the bed frame's
rusty grasps,
sitting up to fetch our boots from the termite floorboards;
standing and dressing our raw muscle.

lined against eroding Earth the ridged tin plates of
the trenches
ran crooked (and so did I,
without feeling

Laughing in the room beside ours I heard girls
and when they unlocked the door
– too young to know that they were soldiers –
they did not expect the trenches.
I gave them a warm smile, and I reckon we all did the same.
I put my rifle in the corner.

stomping toward
his stern beckon in the
atom bomb glare of day,
without sound)

We slouched across from them in chairs with loose legs,
and I told them a story of King William,
and one of our company, not wanting to be irrelevant, added:
Yup, ol' William.
He died, but he's fine now.
Doin' fine.