Somewhere, right now, there is,

A soldier, kicking down a door, to a house,

Where someone says the insurgent lives,

A man, who they call, a target, he tells her,

His wife, over a telephone, describing them,

The night raids, a series of doors, the houses,

Where they find weapons, or nothing, at all,

Houses made of men and women and mud

And children and a language,

A language that he knows now,

A little, now that there is a war,

And he has been, there, for over a year, or

Even, what he does not say, how doing this,

Walking patrol, night raids, the war, all of it,

Is a darkness, and more dust, another door,

Or how he knows it will follow him,

When he, finally, goes home, again,

On a plane full of soldiers, in a sky,

That doesn’t belong to anyone, really, he tells himself,

At least, not as much as this, another night in Afghanistan,

A war, this country, those children, or mud, and a language,

All of it, how it will follow him home, to America,

To his wife, who is, right now, there,

Sitting in a dark living room, or how,

She walks her own patrol each night,

Through that dark house, checking doors,

Checking locks, sitting on a couch, sitting,

In this deployment, alone, and again, and

She is telling herself, this is not living,

The pitch black,

The waiting, or

The weight of it,

The weight of how it feels when she doesn’t,

The moment she stops waiting and lets him go.

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3 Responses to There

  1. Wife and War gave us There to bridge painful history and poetry. Sad reality!

  2. Beautifully expressed. I can relate to the feeling that “this is not living” as I wait for my own husband to come back home.

  3. Elaine says:

    I love this phrasing:
    ” …for over a year, or
    ” Even ..”

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