Sonnet III: The Vigilant

“I teach the use of ordinance to boys.
It’s just a job, not so unlike your own.
I wake up every morning to the drone
Of my alarm, and teach them what destroys

“And kills. A job like yours,” he said, “employing
Skills ones discipline requires. Condone
The harm or not, my job inspires alone
Young men who sought this life. When mine deploys,

“We, rough and ready, make the day our own.”
“But can you quit?” I asked, “you’ve pledged to keep
It–like a wife–for better or for worse.”

“And, quit or fail, I won’t be sought nor thrown
In jail; nor watch my wife, from heaven, weep
Upon my empty coffin in a hearse.”

This sonnet is part of a short sequence; click here to read it all: