Among those released, a single soldier
stands with his arms crossed, uncoiling
only to take the next puff of his first
cigarette in the free world. It tastes
like fear, like all the minutes he counted
off come back, hard as bullets.
The road threatens left and right
teases and taunts him, gets in
his face, saying you can go
anywhere you want, stupid, so
why are you doin' nothin'?
to say to voices in your head. No doors
to keep them out or in. All the meanness
that couldn't get at him is dressed up
in freedom now, walking round him,
getting in those places he can't see.