reached life's middle ground,
surprised we got this far without being
out, and still wondering
what it is we're going to do when we grow up; yet
here somehow with all the regular
job, wife, mortgage, bank statements and bills,
ceiling needing papering,
two children to be got to bed by eight—while
man I might have been digs with
his bare hands
in the ruins of a bombed-out house in Basra
lies on the ground in Africa with ribs
like a birdcage stretched across with parchment
staring eyes fixed, I think, on something other
than a choice of curtains and the current mortgage rate.
Written at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.