Friday, January 30, 2009

Band of Brothers

(Written just before my son --#3-- left for Iraq in 2007. He's home now, so I can post this poem. Superstitious? Maybe)

Brothers do not speak of worry and fear.
They talk about work to be done,
a physical answer to an unspoken question.
Fix the barn roof, build the fence, repair the toilet.
Solid talismans they wield in the face of uncertainty;
daily prayers for men who know
only one way to control the unexpected deployment
of one of them, the band of brothers.

To-do lists.
Discuss ladders, nails and plumbing.
Do not speak what cannot be spoken:
that he is not here;
that we do not know when he might return;
that we do not know where he is.
What we can control is here.

There is work to be done.
They mark off the to-do list
that, when completed (nothing left to chance)
will guarantee their brother’s safe return.
Intently, bearing tools of construction
they ward off the possibility that war might destroy
their band of brothers.


Mike said...

Glad he's home. I recognize the unit patch. The Indianhead Division - 2nd Infantry Division. I wore that same patch for a year as a squad leader in a rifle platoon with the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment (Sykes Regulars). They were among the finest soldiers I ever served with and I still think of them often.

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

I don't blame you for being superstitous, Granny Sue. You're
poem says it all! Lovely!

Granny Sue said...

Mike, I didn't realize that. I'm glad he's back but expect at least one more deployment before he's done with his 20 years.

Thank you, Petra. Doesn't hurt to be careful, does it?

Mike said...

Sure did. 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon "Double Deuce Rocks".

That is who I was with in the piece: