Prisoner of War
BY CRAIG WERNER
They cuffed him
on the sidewalk
after the Jefferson seminar
Two MPs and a guy in a suit
the color of Nixon’s soul.
Someone yelled something about the pigs
but before we could think,
he was gone.
Someone said drugs,
which didn’t make sense.
True enough, he never turned down
a joint or a hit on the Thunderbird
passing from hand to hand
while Jim and Jimi and Janis
glowed on the black light
But, shit, that’s what made him one of us,
not like the doggies on West Colorado Avenue,
watching the dancers in off-limit clubs
with eyes that said
they could blow
at any time.
He was different.
He told us stories about mama sans and Saigon cowboys, made us laugh.
The chicks didn’t even mind his plastic leg.
The paper said
he’d escaped from the Arizona pen,
stolen his dead twin brother’s license
Traded his leg for a silver star
at Dak To.
Came back home
Only one thing we know for sure:
he wasn’t who he was.