You are back here again, this place
Where he is telling you he is going
Again, back to Iraq again, this time
For twelve months.
This time hot Baghdad and you.
You are left here at home again,
With a watch on your wrist telling you
You will go on even though, even though
The neighbors don’t know how you do it.
The truth is deployments can be easy.
It is the coming back that can hurt.
What no one tells you is how,
How war will bring you to your knees.
Not on the grass like you imagined, in a cemetery,
His body lowered into the ground, arms at his side,
Just like a toy soldier. Not that.
But in the shower crying, with the water running,
Crying because it is too much, water running so
He will not hear you.
Or on a carpet in front of a bed begging him,
His back turning to you, like an empty map,
Begging him because he is lost,
Begging him to come, come back.