Friday, April 11, 2008

Message from the Front

The phone rings and I answer to silence.
Then his voice.
Hello Mom.

His voice is the same. Too young
to be in charge of so much, and so many
men with hard boots and hard eyes.

I ask,
How are you? even though
I know what the answer will be.

Fine, I’m fine.
He evades, like I’m asking
a question to which he doesn’t know
the answer.

He speaks
of the mission, of his men
and the good food.
How are the kids?
Have you seen them?

The kids, the touchstone,
the constant that can be
talked about, laughed about,
discussed and delighted
in, a story with happy chapters.
Endless details —
who needs clothes or haircut,
how much gas money; the prom
is coming and church camp.
His voice caresses each name
like smooth stones carried
in his heart for luck.

I can’t wait to get home, he says.
When? I ask.
I remember the last deployment
and the return date that shifted
as quickly as the dunes of sand.
Soon, maybe four months. Maybe five. Soon.

It is time to end our call.
My goodbye is cheerful, his the same.
I love you we say at the same time,
I love you.

The line goes quiet. He is gone.
I hold the phone close to my face
a few moments longer then slowly,
slowly
I too am gone.

5 comments:

Robbyn said...

This is a beautiful post, Gran.

We love your blog and are really sorry it's taken us so long to add you to our blogroll...we did in a recent post at our site; hope that's ok!

MK Stover said...

I don't even know what to say.
Sending positive energy to you and your family.

Grand Life said...

Our thoughts are with you. Your latest post was beautiful. I'll be stopping back often.
Judy

Mike said...

I hear you loud, Sue. It is hard to be soldier, but nothing compared to being the soldier's mother. I hold you and yours in my thoughts. I do and have wondered about you a lot. I do wish this war was over as I don't see the point in it any longer. I have lost faith in our leadership and that leaves a sick feeling in the belly of this old soldier. I was a warrior too at one time you know. I know what they do and what they endure; without complaint or whining. I look for the post you make that says they are all safe and home again. Where they belong.

Granny Sue said...

Thanks to all of you for your thoughtful comments. Each day passed is one day closer to his return. I continue to hope that all the troops will return soon. Each day that passes seems to deepen the quagmire. The best thing we can do is continue to offer good moral support to the troops and hold them in our prayers.

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