I I shiver with dread
Marching off to war

Mother stands
Weeping at the door

She trembles in fright
I might return dead

I vibrate with the subway rattle
To the Whitehall Street dragoons

After a glance
At my eyes ears and throat

a peek up my ass
and squeeze of my balls


I’m on a bus to the pitch-pine
Savanna of Fort Dix

They shave my head
and grab my clothes

I don oversize pants
Fatigues and combat boots

I’m polite to Southerners in the barracks
Who never met a Jew

Yet lose a tooth and get a busted nose
from Pascagoula scalawags


Wish I were anywhere
but here

If only Mandrake
Could make me disappear

Am I in a trance
Marching to Pretoria

Or just happy hiking
With a pack upon my back

A rifleman vanishes
In an anonymous platoon.