Discharge - Derek Wilson, illustrator


Sitting in the back of a Greyhound bus,
you find out who you are without orders.
Without family meeting you there to fuss,
you get dismissed last. At o dark thirty
you might sleep, but you can’t, and there’s no rush.

Two hundred miles to Brookings. Forty more
to Cairn Station. And then you walk a mile
to the house and whoever you find there,
strapped for cash, fast asleep and unable
to meet you, hug you, tell you where to toss

your reeking, desert-dusted duffel bag.
You drive to McDonalds, and then you give
the orders: Big Mac, Coke, side of Kabul.
You’ve choppered, jeeped, flown, bussed, walked and driven
for two all-beef patties in the free world,

and in the world, water-tight as a sieve,
gonna have to figure out how to live.


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