We spoke for 62 minutes today.
We spoke while I cruised through a McDonald’s Drive-thru.
We spoke as I checked the tire pressure on my car
And complained about the sensor light coming on again.
We spoke as I ate, long pauses as I chewed.
We spoke as I perused the news.
In 62 minutes today we had to condense 24 hours of our marriage.
It was not enough.
To be intimate.
To describe our day.
To explain what needs to be done.
To discuss our child.
To exalt over her achievements.
It can never be enough.
In 62 minutes every day for the past 300 days.
How do we stay in touch?
And thousands of texts that simply say
I love you
Wait for me.
We’ve been here before.
We have left the realm of the unknown.
This is day to day,
This is your job,
This is the commitment I understood.
We are so close,
I know where we go from here.
I know how to feel from here.
We have lived in this span of space
have reached across this arc of time
and found each other again on the other side.
He is to me the foam upon my sea
Billowing up from my depths to ride on waves
Stretching towards the beachy barriers
Pulling back to chase horizons.
He has become as flesh to my bone
Gripped by ligament, sinew, muscle
All sewn together with veins
Destruction of part forever marring the whole.
To separate us would mean to rend my soul
To divide my life’s blood from my lungs
My heart from my tongue
Told to thrive within a shriven corpse.
Physiologically whole but dissected
All the same.
Poseidon in his watery prison has loved Selene from afar, turning his tides to draw her gaze upon him.
And Selene hung upon the velvet canvas of night unable to sink into the salty waves from her lofty height blinks slowly with regret, filling her vision with the peaked foam depths.
I love you like the ocean loves the moon, the sight of her in the night sky roiling the ocean into tidal frenzies.
I love you with the eternal pattern of nature, unwavering and confident in the reassurance of return.
I love you with the eternal intent of gods and the immortal imperviousness of our souls.
I love you as I have always and will always love you, in lives since passed and lives to come, and in that space of afterlife, our Heaven ensnared in each other’s eyes.
And long before the goddess took up residence beside the empty cratered lake to stand guard over far off blue green seas and long after those seas have ebbed eternally too heavy and ancient with geological burden I have, I will, love you.
You have never read a love letter until you have read one sent home to a soldier’s lover
And if you are not that soldier or his lover it is unlikely you will ever
Until their lives have waned and their years have been spent
And the pain of that distance has faded to a wistful reminisce.
You have never read a letter filled with so much palpable longing
And an honesty so profound it bleeds onto your fingers like spilled ink
And capped with a sign off of resignation and the literary equivalent of a sigh
As he hurries through the hastily scrawled pages to not say goodbye.
I love my soldier. I will treasure his hand written letters all the days of my life.
A soldier’s Wife
Slats of sunlight dapple
the edges of my memories
twirling in the kitchen
laying sideways in our bed
blinding our view of the television
where we curled up each evening
the warming Spring days meant open
strolls across the railroad tracks
during lengthening evening twilight
holding hands, our breaths
as we wait for separation
a year long pacing back and forth
slowly becoming numb
with every creeping day.
i don’t see heroism inherent in the dapple of your camo
i don’t fall at the altar of ares indiscriminately
i adhered to a pacifist belief in discourse and debate up to now
i detest the blindly patriotic vision of the star spangled devotee
a hero to me had always been an elusively romantic idea
unrecognizable in the common man as i saw them
an act of heroism an impossibly inhuman defying of natural law
until i saw you pick up your bag and put on that bulletproof diadem
out of the depths of complexity of duty to country and commander
out of obligation to provide for wife and child
and a tendency towards charity and unflinching candor
you silently took up arms and joined the rank and file
in your sacrifice you became my hero
as i know that sacrifice was rooted in love for her and i
a desire to prove yourself a provider a sanctified nero
without the vice and all the comforts to be quantified
with upright piety i have never seen in a soul
and unvoiced pain which lends itself to battered strength
you ventured alone into a combative world dividing my whole
heart carved into a token of luck of magnetism of guidance down that path
a salute to a hero by any other name
as that which he would never claim
And I whisper into the encircled totem that binds us
a tenuous thread of darkness and light unbalanced apart
“I miss you, I miss you,”but it seems superfluous.
And I seek to find faith in what I don’t understand
and ignore the selfish whispering flames of my heart
though it burns my chest like an iron brand.
And I pray to a god who does not love me
though I begged him while swollen with your child
to not steal you away as I cowered on my knees.
And I covet the touch, the graze of a hand on cheek
of people passing by me unknowingly
because I have known the thrill that is piqued.
And I cry at the space between our hands
because I can never reach far enough
to bridge the distance between lands.
Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and you never left my mind. But to be fair it is a rare day when I can manage to distract myself enough not to think about you, to remember you, to miss you, to dream of the day you come home and our life together resumes. Your words were so beautiful, more beautiful than a hundred roses. I nearly cried reading them while I sat at the circulation desk, pretending that my life was as normal as anyone else’s.
I have these moments between the drudgery of the incessant passing of time, moments of clarity where I realize that we are going through something major and life changing and neither one of us can come out on the other side the same. I know what you are doing is important and you are providing for your family the best way you have found. I can never thank you enough for being so brave, so dependable, so very, very good to me and Baby. It is unfortunately a rare man who would make such sacrifices to care for loved ones.
I believe our children will be better people for us having gone through this. We can teach them sacrifice, love in truth, what it means to cherish and appreciate what we have, to embrace moments while they are in them. I will never take for granted the small moments we share together ever again.
The days are passing. I am assured of that at least. Some faster than I thought they would. I have settled into my routine though Baby likes to switch that up from time to time. We get through, I didn’t think I could honestly, but I have found a way to care for her and myself (most days). I’m not saying the dishes get washed every evening or the tub gets scrubbed as clean as you like but we live almost as decently as before you left. There is still laughter in our home, your daughter makes sure of that. She brings me the greatest joy and I adore you for agreeing that we shouldn’t wait to start our family until you came home. She creates my inner strength and motivates me to push when I want to crash.
I tell you this because I think it is important you know we are okay even with you thousands of miles away. If something were to ever happen to you for you to know we are capable. I will care for your daughter no matter what and give her the very best life but we still desperately await your return home to complete our family.
Until then the days count down, the clock unwinds, I sigh a breath of relief because each day without you is one more day done, gone, in our past, and one day closer to the thousands upon thousands we will spend together.
I love you. Infidimensionally. Until tomorrow, my love.
A Soldier’s Wife