Thursday, November 27, 2008

"To Our Son-in-Law Returning from Iraq: April 2003"

That you were a writer and not a soldier
Made you no less brave,
Your war short, hard to defend,
But no less noble.
You went to report on things Homer had seen,
In a land older than Hector.
We found you on a map of unknown places,
Read your dispatches and heard you on TV:
We tasted sand and young men’s fear.
We did not attend rallies of protest or support
But went instead with your sons
To soccer games and preschool plays.
I do not pray much but prayed for you.
We read your coming-home piece
And thought of Odysseus.
We tracked your journey—Kuwait, London.
That night I went back downstairs after midnight
And turned on the computer again,
To be sure that your plane had touched down.

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