A wrong turn into a Broadway antique row back-alley
temptation leans against a shop’s back-door
a sleigh of a bed, blackened from years
in someone else’s shed—fifty bucks make it
mine to lug into dad’s garage
where it waits against the wall.
I slip out of the sofa bed, into your old robe
the girls heads still deep in their pillows
the garage is in February’s deep freeze
I lean against the cold curved foot of the bed
and re-read your latest letter, I pray its not your last,
just days before you leave to come home, so close, so far
away with death still hanging in the air.
I will us into that bed.
I will myself content just to feel your warmth beside me
your thundering snore rippling along my lifeline,
pulling me in.
Tan Son Nhut air base, a targeted airfield in ‘68
as you came incountry, now a chartered plane flight away
from the rest of our life together.
You make a California unwelcome home landing,
and you make it home, to us,
life now crowded, overflowing the in-laws basement apartment,
we re-center our universe.
The bed awakes from dream into metaphor
gives itself up for therapy,
Brasso dug up from the bottom of your duffel
smeared on sheep’s wool pads
it fumes the garage, your old fatigues
until I prop the door open.
The sound of the drill, unsoftened, close, feels good on
your ears, pushes back the whop, whop, whop of
helicopter blades until no more blacked metal remains.
The wartime drama of dark tarnish gives way to shining brass.
Daylight until nightfall, three days from black to bright,
the spinning, spiraling, sweet reflection of
resurrection says, “welcome home.”
M. Sharon Frickey is a willing traveler in the quantum soup, a Virgo Earth-mother poet married to a Taurus Vietnam veteran (32 years active and ready reserve service) aligned to create S.T.O.R.Y. Up, a writing workshop inviting service members, family, vets and community to “come to the table” and drop a stone into the story pot. Sharon’s world experiences give her an eclectic background she shares in writing, poetry readings, and speaking. At duty stations in Japan and Turkey, she was honored with Army and Air Force Community Service awards. Her feature articles have appeared in Colorado County Life magazine. A Christa McAuliffe Fellow and retired teacher, she continues to seek out ways to be part of something in the arts bigger than her own interests.
Write for Words After War! Contact MIKE at WORDSAFTERWAR dot ORG.