Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

I was sweating in the shoe aisle at KMart
not wearing combat boots
but desert hot, sweating, sweating
my red tee shirt damp on my chest

My uniform was black capris
not khaki or camo, my leg ankled
with a light bulb chain
that hung like dog tags

The man ahead of me in line
was opening his pool
for the holiday weekend
and buying party ice

The checkout girl admired
my nose ring while I paid for
sandals which would
never see the desert sand

I turned on the air in the Cruiser
and pulled into the line of cars
people hurrying to swim
and have a beer with their burger

The sun glinted on the roofs of shiny
speeding cars on hot pavement
no desert drab, no tents, no dust storms
no drone of tanks and humvees

Thunder sounded in the distance
not the thunder of guns or ieds
but the rumble that brings
cool rain and dripping eaves

over a wide white porch
with a swing and the chatter
of children and a breeze
to stir the green leaves

I stopped at a drive-thru
for an icy root beer that
beaded the paper cup with sweat
and reached for my cell phone

to be sure that all was well
at home and say that I would
be there soon and there was
nothing to be afraid of

Thank you from Barbara
Mem Day 2007

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