Table of Contents - Vol. VII, No. 1
Tanned soldier in his fatigues
stands in a once-familiar place called home.
Wife, children, parents, friends swarm
toward him to embrace, kiss, laugh,
cry in relief at his survival.
Automatically, he smiles, greets each one;
subconsciously he is still on the battle line,
naked without his rifle; he struggles to remember
being a loving husband, father, son, pal,
memories washed away in the blood
of his brothers-in-combat.
Weeks later, the man stands
before the bathroom mirror, his small son
watches, then carefully mimics hand
and face movements as his daddy shaves.
Looking into that innocent countenance,
the soldier’s heart gives a painful thump,
first tiny crack in a frozen landscape.
© Kay Robertson