A dogged sliver of morning light,
breaks free from the fog’s grip, a new day,
and a new assault of memory,
out of the fading past comes marching
a squad of shining boots.
Let those heels dig in,
along the chalk-lined ruts of the parade ground,
see the red dust bounce up,
while the fists go scorching through the air,
now let that rasp in the chest wait.
Watch this phantom tableau,
played on the dusty shelves of the years,
sloping maroon berets and grim jaws,
shoulder to shoulder and eyes turned right,
while bugles wail and drums roll.
The grimacing sun, forever caught
in brass badges, shakes itself free today,
witness this rally of unyielding nerve,
the tiring feet of a centipede column,
plodding on an inner song.
you who await your rites of passage,
remember the teenaged squad
that marched then into the world of men,
a boundless adventure called life.
When our eyes have grown dull,
and the days stretch alone on will,
the last bastion, that fort of inevitable fate
awaits a lone footstep, the booted stride
that’s everlasting and eternal.