Peace Time Army

Peace Time Army

Coming down a long corridor,
the tall general in a jacket named after him.
The war is over. We are doing the paperwork.

Eating Hersheys and drinking Coke.

Telling the veterans how to adjust
To civilian life. Filling out forms.

We are eighteen. They are tolerant.

The Supreme Commander pauses,
asks what state, son, but mostly
he talks with the veterans, quietly.
Blue eyes. Big grin. Later he is President.

Like Grant and the other wartime generals.

        The war has unwound.

Our NCO’s only pretend to be tough.

Everyone is getting out.

        That was all a long time ago.

        Today I can only dimly remember Hitler,
his moustache infinitesimal in time.

        But Ike’s blue eyes still insist.

        The Military-Industrial Complex

        is still his warning.