The good old boys were coming home

to waving red white & blue, smiling

faces of the family left behind, and

breathing in the American air, that

isn't choked by dust and sand and sweltering

with hot desert sunshine.

Well, that foreign sun wasn't beating down

on his neck anymore, but the beads of

sweat on his forehead persisted.

And at night, the hands on his face and

the faces in darkened windows haunted

him no matter how much alcohol

slid down his throat. He tried to drink away

the image of the half hidden face

of the old woman he shot- as she fell,

bullets riddling her body, a white flag

clasped in her withered hands fluttered

to the ground. So, maybe it wasn't

as surprising as his officers and buddies

on the frontline would like to think, when

his father found him hanging from the

garden hose, as peaceful as he'd ever

been since he got home.