All was permitted you.
Rooted out as a misfire or
somebody’s chance smudge
stabbed into a satisfied mind,

your face was feathered in spittle.
Go ahead, lick it off! Be an air-swiped flag.
Every single strange example’s
A blast, a test of evidence.

What if we had known then
we could bloom a flame like this?
Our forthright behavior
our stolen valor

Stick Fighting, Knife Fighting, and Home Defense.
Every now and then
Wind works your ear
but these facts are never reported.

I hate the song. I know all the words.

Copyright © 2017 by Wayne Miller. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on January 11, 2017, by the Academy of American Poets.