Posted in Rituals

Of Service

By her own admission she had been naïve
newly married – very new
honeymoon over literally
but now
the fulfillment of courtship
in their own home
except it wasn’t,
the landlord and her husband’s employer unitary – the Army.

Still, no complaints
cheap
dirt cheap $11 per week in the 1980’s.
That’s the Army she said
not a round $5, $10 or even $20
but 11
deducted from pay – no pain.

Manoeuvres
war games
exercises – whatever
tomorrow – back the following Friday.
The first time coming home
something to be celebrated
a special meal – full trimmings.

But when?
No one knew.
A call to the battalion office – polite, extra polite,
could they please indicate a rough time.
Yes,
they could tell her exactly.
“ He will be home when he arrives, and not before.”

 

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.