He left a map on the wall
to find it marked with coloured pins
and tiny battle stars. Where he had been
was not three inches travel
from the clutter of a boy’s room.
Three winters and a spring
hung in little flags above his bed.
He stooped to count each month,
to set each fingertip in order,
stripped his boots and slept.
A clock is faithful sentry.
Nothing had changed. The closet dust
endures each slow dissolving moment
with spider patience. When morning breaks,
he will awake and find himself at home.