The day that I wore red white & blue
boxer shorts to morning drill,
Major Winslow rushed into my face
with a clipboard. “Your name, cadet!”
It was winter, and my legs shone pale
in regulation black shoes and black socks.
“Hanger,” I told him. “Cliff Hanger.”
He wrote it down as if his pen
were assassinating each false letter,
and then he dismissed me,
me and my troop of followers
in pink shirts and bow ties.
That night, a Texas boy from across the hall
came through my door and slid
his arm around my shoulders.
“You know,” he said, “men have died
in that uniform.” “You know,” I said,
“more men have died in their boxer shorts.”