Springtime During the Occupation
by Lea Grundy

More than a month we were still waiting
After the war.
The phone connections were pretty good.
Sometimes we laughed.
Some people came home.
The time they said you were coming home
I laughed and then cried.
I couldn't eat my breakfast.

The last week brought a heat wave.
The baby ran up and down in only his diaper.
Schools closed early for the summer
And they laid off next year's teachers.
You were packing just one bag,
Choosing just one book.
The body armor alone weighs 40 pounds.

The last night our power failed.
I called you from my hot and empty office.
We talked about what people will do
When it's 114 and there's no water, no food.
You said:
"What really worries me are the convoys, the checkpoints."
Then you were angry and said:
"We are doing everything we can!"
Somehow I said the mindless words we use
To soothe a child:
"It will be all right, it will be all right."
Then you were calm again and laughed:
"When they come I'll just keep my head down and sweat."
You promised to soft-boil an egg on the hood of a Bradley.
We pretended you'd be home for Christmas.

The days go burning by.
We are all burning, burning,
And everything they tell us is a lie.

Copyright © 2006 - Lea Grundy
Published: 12/14/06   ·  Author's Page   ·  Next Poem