• Lady/Liberty/Lit

The Day My Husband Came Home from the Endless War the Sky Split Open by Michelle Aucoin Wait


1.


cold hard hail filled the ditch

marking our property line


locusts swarmed with sound

I saw one pink and alien


split its shell fall

to the ground


get taken under

as palmetto bugs crawled

up and out the earth waking

the needles


the limber pines

stood at attention in our backyard


exoskeletons kissed bark

clung for dear life


reminded us this plague

came from the desert


we traded life

for life candles lit


for him forgot the rest

someone or thing

must pay for participation

in this war for all this

freedom


2.


we went all in each time

he left high stakes


years playing poker

taught me next time


my hand might catch

on the river no one wants


to go home the donkey

everyone wants the money wants part

of the war machine wants

the comforts that come from war


wants this more than life

they sell it with words images

with insurance war time bonuses

promises of education

and we bet we can make it

another year

apart


3.


the day my husband came

home from the endless war


I shed him of his uniform

inspected his body


for bruises for signs

he had returned

unharmed I knelt

as if to worship


swallowed him whole eventually

the newness created


by oceans and deserts and time

wore off


we went back to our familiar

routine yellow ribbons


hug my pines

exoskeletons cling


to the bows I’ve carefully

knotted


reminding me next time

someone else might


win

Michelle Aucoin Wait is an MFA (Poetry) candidate at University of Nevada, Reno. Michelle’s pronouns are she/her/hers/herself. Her work has appeared or will be appearing in Tiferet, Maudlin House, Lady/Liberty/Lit, LandLocked, The Meadow, Porkbelly Press, and others. She is a transplant from the Deep South and now resides beside a mountain with her family and her four yorkies.

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