Saturday, April 7, 2012


         Brown Soldier Down

There will be no need to recite the names
Of his father, sisters, or brothers
Or of grandparents, uncles, or aunts

No need to mention the leg that broke
When he fell off the mesquite tree
Or the arm that splintered when he slipped in the arroyo

No need to recall the bolt of lightening that
Charred the tool shed when he was barely ten
Or the joyful grin when he caught his first catfish

And even though his face has been erased by
The predictable roadside bomb,
There will be no need for time-tested maternal instincts

No need for any expensive DNA analyses
No need for detailed dental x-ray photographs
Or any other useless scientific confirmations

No need to utter a single word
She’ll know that he has come home when
She sees engraved in the back of his dog tags

The name of his first dog…

Only then she’ll know he has finally come home to stay. 

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