poetryrepairs 15,04:041

ABIGAIL B. CALKIN Soul of my Soldier
:The Stare
: Sleep
: Army Wife

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The Stare

You stare at me exhaustion— the thousand-yard stare— ? I don’t know which comes from your unshaven face Are you home? Do you remember who I am? Will you ever return to the man I kissed goodbye?

poetryrepairs #211 15,04:041


A small, orphaned Afghan girl in an orange top and shorts bears a half moon scar across her shaved scalp. She sleeps against his shoulder and neck. He sleeps, too, in a large soft blue plastic armchair a bulk of an Air Force Master Sergeant who comes every night to hold the little girl who whimpers in anyone else’s arms. How do we understand love spoken only through touch —across language and culture? Does he have a daughter this age? Will he dream about the little Afghan girl as his child grows older? How do we know whom to trust when we sleep?

poetryrepairs #211 15,04:041

Army Wife

I am an Army wife Felt it when he was about to deploy. I headed the Family Support Group Forgot who I was when he came home. I am an Army wife. Realized it again when I began to write this. Tucked the reality and thought inside. You are an Army wife, a friend said. —What a lovely compliment— You’re right, I am. He may hide his dark side, but I can no longer pretend its absence. He does all the daily practical things. In exchange I cover his invisible wounds at night as we cuddle because I am his Army wife.

poetryrepairs #211 15,04:041

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