I dreamt last night of Burma.
I was a gunner for my grandfather.
He wore three chevrons on his sleeve,
with a couple of rockers underneath.
By the end of it all,
he'd earn a nice diamond
to put right in the center.

He was damn proud of those patches.
They were new when I saw him last night.
He had a lucky strike
hanging out his mouth
looking like Clark Gable
when good ol' Joany lights his smoke in Chained.

He hollered out
Welcome Marauder;
Welcome brother.

And I knew
I was safe
in his command.

Dreams don't come easy in the hospital.
Too many tiny noises keep me up all night
so a good one like that is rare.
They say one more surgery
and this leg isn't gonna give out anymore.
A welcome home for good gift
from Martin Dempsey.
But you know a guy like that
doesn't even know me.

But in the dream
my grandfather--
he was a bloodhound,
hot on the trail
and first on the track.
The type of man you knew
would get you back

And I miss it now, laying in
a tangle of white sheets
just like I missed it
while sleeping in the desert's heat.
In the dream,
I caught my grandfather
scribbling out a letter
that read
I love you baby and
when this is better
Burma ain't gonna miss me
even a fraction
of what I missed you sweets.