Peace Corpsman, will the baskets that you weave
Seem where you weave them part as we were part,
Inevitable hue and final growth?
Will any weaver’s posture grace that life
As we have graced it, implement its forms
More fitly than by manual of arms?
Your very mission, there, become your flesh,
To be in quinine water mortified,
In lecheries resumed? Who face always,
Anew, the two ordeals of barbary:
The trial of the razor and the lather,
And of the scorpion within the sheets.
Who, when the mission is discredited,
The blood polluted, face the trial still,
But will prefer pollution to withdrawal.
Knowing what you prefer, can you put on,
As we put on, a token of control,
And outface chaos with a shining brass?