Each time I climb the stairs
the faded photo of the skinny boy
is leaning to the left again.
Smarten up, boy! I say.
He grins, salutes, and again
next time I climb, to the left
he leans. I'll inform your sergeant,
I state, but the boy's sergeant,
we both well know, is long gone. The
boy hooks his crooked cap rightwards,
to compensate for his lingering
leftward lean. Long dead, this
teenage, ageless soldier
grins, salutes. And leans again.