Weight

My husband is whispering,

Whispering over the telephone,

Because it is a community telephone bank,

Set up in a makeshift building, on a makeshift base,

The one I send packages to, writing Camp Phoenix,

On the front, declaring the contents, a pair of socks,

A container of cookies, my son’s drawing, and, yes,

No explosives, sent to my husband on this makeshift

Base I cannot picture, and, yet, he is there, whispering

Across all of this, whispering

A story about how,

How it happened again,

How they had to drive to a more remote part of Afghanistan,

Drive the Afghans they are embedded with, on dirt roads, and

Show them different military sites, how they are run, and say,

This is counterinsurgency in action,

But how, his colleague, was scared again,

Too scared to go outside the wire,

And my husband, he is whispering,

And I cannot tell what he is thinking,

This colleague, a man, five years younger than he is,

Not married, no children, his whole life stretching

Out in front of him, like a blank piece of paper or

Even a desert, and how my husband, how he has us,

Waiting, and how,

When I go to the post office, next time,

They will place my package on a scale,

The one I will send over to that base,

In this country where killing can happen,

To men wearing fatigues,

To a child riding a motorbike,

To my husband, this place,

Where lives are measured against one another,

And where they are not,

And I will stop and I will wonder,

How weight is possible at all.

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3 Responses to Weight

  1. I love your poems. I can only imagine how your life feels…

  2. You articulate — beautifully — the heavy, sad things so many of us feel. Thank you for writing. For sharing. For making some of the rest of us feel less alone.

  3. Hi! We just “met” on twitter. I was reading your works and really like this one! If you are interested in sharing it on my new page http://www.milspouseprose.com I would be honored and would include your full bio with links back to your page and book. I am just getting started, but an old blogger with Army Wife Network. My new page will be advertised there on 2/22 so hoping to garner a great collection of milspouseprose! Thx!

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