For my soldier


It's 3:00 a.m., and
the phone rings so
I pick up, gather my
sleep-scattered thoughts,
and mumble, "Hello?"

Your voice is calm and
smooth; silken perfection to
my ears until
you sigh, and
tell me, "I'm leaving."

It's 3:01 a.m., and
the world stops spinning
long enough for me to
find my voice—
choke out, "When?"

Silence hangs like
dead-weights on the line,
crushing my heart, and
my last lifeline flees as
you say, "August 17th

I lose track of time; insignificant,
like all the words I
relinquish to the silence,
and can only manage
a shaky, "Oh…"

The line crackles, like
so much static noise eating
my brain, until your breathing
offers some comfort with
a concerned, "Not crying — are you?"

Heaviness presses like fog,
obscuring rationality, and
I struggle to find my voice;
struggle to lie convincingly,
as I reply, "No."

Lies, lies, lies; just like my
deceitful, breaking heart, that
should be dieing, but beats
traitorously, threatens betrayal,
as you promise, "I love you."

It's 3:05 a.m., and I
nod, like I understand; like
it's all okay, even when it's
not, and I say, "I know."
"I love you too."

And then the silence falls,
like snow, and I'm losing
it, and when you speak I
barely hear you, because
it's, "I have to go…"

And I have to go too,
otherwise I'll lose it,
and when the line
clicks I do, and
I cry, "Goodbye."

And I know I shouldn't, and
I know he'll be home, but
until Iraq becomes a good thing,
all I can do is cry, and
pray, "Come home soon."


L. Kantenseter