by Bill Yarrow

Skinny guy with glasses sent to Viet­nam,
came back with an under­stand­ing of heroin,
an acquain­tance with who­r­ish­ness, a clar­i­fied
wife, and a hel­met on his soul. His fam­ily alive
but indif­fer­ent, he makes his way back
to the ocean, back to the pop­corn, back
to the pin­ball machines, wants to see
the boss who had treated him well. “Hey,
Bob! It's me, George!” Kind­ness is mag­netic,
but the past is a loose adhe­sive and rarely
is employ­ment a glue. “How nice to see
you, George!” He hangs around for about
an hour, then slinks back to the deserted
battlefield he has had tattooed on his future.