They tell me not to tell anyone, for my own safety,

Because then people will know I am living here alone.

But slowly the news leaks out of me,

Air out of a balloon until it is deflated,

And everyone knows.  My neighbors,

A check out girl and the post office man

Who stamps my boxes, ships them over

To a base in the middle of Afghanistan,

Everyone knows now,

How my husband is at war.

The hard part is not the telling or trying not to.

The hard part is that no one really cares.

Because this war is over there, and because

It is my husband who is gone, not theirs, and

Sometimes I want to wrap my whole house

In yellow ribbons, wrap yellow ribbons tight

Around the ribs of this house,

So when he is killed in combat,

No one will be able to ignore me.

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4 Responses to Wrap

  1. I’ve just discovered this blog and also September 11. The resonance of your writing is astonishing. I wish I had discovered it before. The imagery here, the yellow ribbons is…it makes me almost coveteous of your experience, but also thankful it isn’t mine.

  2. caseythompson says:

    I have no idea how it must feel, but please know that some on us care deeply. Deeply to the point of tears that you and yours have been asked to sacrfice, and somehow feel lesser that we did or could not.

  3. I commented on twitter, but wanted to leave a comment here, too. I can relate to your fear of making his deployment public (for your own safety) while wanting so badly to not have to carry your fears and loneliness privately while he’s gone. I look forward to tweeting with you, and to reading more of your beautiful posts.

  4. Carolyn says:

    I agree entirely about feeling ignored. In telling people, I had hoped to make it seem real to them–that men and women still are fighting a war. So that my physical body in front of them was still a reminder that we have war, and we have those who are left behind. But even then, no one seemed to ask, “How is he? How is the war?” because they don’t pay attention. and by them not asking, they don’t ever have to deal with the truth. and the truth being, they don’t care. They only ask “when is he coming home?” but it neglects the fact that if he is home, another will have to go and be in his place. Even if we wrapped ourselves in yellow ribbon, I don’t think people care enough about the war, and by default they don’t care enough about the stakeholders, our service men/women who are there.

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