Easy to forget how young I was
when asked to kill or be killed.
The past is a window caked with
ashes of spent years. Tutankhamen
clasped his first golden scepter
at ten. Released it at nineteen.
Framed by a striped Nemes headdress,
face on his sarcophagus is confident,
wiser than time. Our own pyramids
were built atop recruits fresh
from high school, more comfortable
holding a rifle than a razor. Wars
are always fought by children. A kid,
once dared, will leap from a rooftop
into a pool. Regret is a word
in dictionaries of old men.
Bill Glose is a former paratrooper, Gulf War veteran, and author of the poetry collections Half a Man (FutureCycle Press, 2013) and The Human Touch (San Francisco Bay Press, 2007). In 2011, he was named the Daily Press Poet Laureate. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Narrative Magazine, Chiron Review, and Poet Lore.