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It was 1968.
I was eighteen,
fresh out of high school.
The draft was still on.
Two doctors examined me.
One said I was a no-go.

I remember one boy from my hometown.
He was quiet,
played the saxophone in the high school marching band.
After graduation, he was drafted,
went to Vietnam and was killed.

A few years later,
during our annual Memorial Day parade,
my old high school marching band passed by me.
When I saw the saxophone player,
I couldn’t help thinking,
this kid had no idea whose place he took.

I hate those people who did everything to avoid the draft,
and now they’re the Hawks.
I still have guilt.
You know how I feel.
Some other eighteen-year old replaced me.
What happened to him?

In my dreams that night
and every night since,
I see a marching band.
And when I look for the Saxophone player,
he isn’t there.