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
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.

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.
they could tell her exactly.
“ He will be home when he arrives, and not before.”




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.