If you were fired and were free to go
From Appalachia to
The Apennines, would you
Think twice before you flew,
With wife and child in tow,
To the old world and to a new
Life at Lake Trasimeno?
As his cohort brushes up
on Customs, readies baby, passport, map,
terra firma rushes up,
Jolts a soldier from his nap--
the hero of lost battles and failed wiles--
lands him in the old world's lap
Roughly, say, a million miles
from where, like spring's first pitch, he was thrown out
to the crowd's contagious smiles.
Partisans appear to sprout
from Rome's mobbed airport's tangle and to sweep
three tired troopers from the rout
Through the sunset to a steep
starlit road, winding up somewhere above
scenes unseen except in sleep.
One of them is dreaming of
a world as precious to him as his breath ,
lost as causes, job, and love,
When he wakes gasping for air, scared to death.