After fifty years of forgetting
bras and draft cards burning
in a pile on the quad, the colors
red and green every night on TV,
Viet Nam stares me in the face
on a gate that protects the scales
where we weigh cattle, far
in every sense from those days.
A silent nod for Rod and Bill,
for Joel and Waddie, for all
the cowboys who can’t balance
surviving fifty years to zero.