hail from iraq, my love

hail from iraq, my love

you've left me here a dozen times
i've always hugged you home
but this time is too different
i just cannot let you go

but there you go and here i am
and here the children stand
their questions tear me up inside
i can't answer any of them

months crawl by in moments
and i live for any word
but i can't watch the journalists
i die to think i've heard

how are you, just fine i guess
my wrenching heart replies
my family asks too many times
i whisper low so i don't cry

your teens are rife with anger
along with all their friends
they've heard the news this afternoon
iraq is now, kuwait is then

your youngest sits in silence
along with all her friends
they've heard the news this evening
two neighbors met their end

families packed the field
and the president flew in
we stood in line for hours
but we didn't get to see him
i couldn't have been angry
as the widows took their seats
too grateful for not being them
never mind my aching feet

spouses gather awkwardly
for family day minus one
we lay out our best recipes
and try not to let on

your welcome home still months away
i dread an official's car
i keep the driveway blocked
and i only use the back door now

a candle burns til you come home
you are our only one
how ever things go, whatever you do
hail from iraq, my love

© diana hartman 2003

submitted by
Diana Hartman