Last Roll Call

sarge calls the roll until —
once, twice, three times:
rank and last name
rank, first and last
rank, first, middle and last
louder each time.
the name echoes in the silence.
to a man, the same thought:
answer, dammit.
it's the sun that makes
these young men squint;
the dust they blink away.
it's sweat trailing down
their windburned cheeks
as the bugle cries.

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