the captains systematically discharging
battle-hardened soldiers, and sending them
home without arms or pension.
His cubicle proved to be one more picket,
Broken down in some rear guard action.
His co-workers were sorted into the dead,
the wounded, and those reduced in force.
Wars are lost; armies retreat--
but he had watched generals with golden epaulettes
looting the quartermaster, raiding the rations.
His appetite for combat is gone.