Cynical millenarian, I like
You in this shot, posed without
Insignia or emblems,
Just a plain white tee shirt

And housepainter’s pants
Because that is what you are,
An anonymous workman
In the first year of the

Reign of Richard Nixon,
No longer a peace sign kid
Yet still smoking a jay
Each evening for old time’s sake,

An accommodation of ecstasy.
The uncertain fun is over,
The wages of definition
Must be paid,

A spontaneous decade ends
In the scrape of the putty
Knife, the money that makes
One week talk to another.

You could be elsewhere
And you know it
But your smile remains.
A false perpetuum sets in

Of Saturday night beers.
Secondhand paperbacks, lengthy
Letters, and pragmatic affairs.
In your hand is your cap

And now it seems that
You too were a soldier.
That this wariness will
Never go away and that

That is a fact, like an
Address, like the neat
Inscription “Draft dodger
Turns twenty-two today.”