The day we met, I wasn’t looking for you,
but we found each other anyway at the fishpond
in the park, both looking for a quiet place to sit
out of the way of the carnival going on around us.
We bonded while feeding greedy Koi, over fuchsia lotus
blossoms and the cool, green water. We discovered
a mutual interest the blues and a dislike of loud,
noisy games that interrupted silent contemplation.
We built from that meeting, with long walks and discussions
of current events, books. You loved Sylvia Plath, hated
Thoreau while I found worlds inside his writing and
never quite understood her at all.
Still we became a couple, joined our lives together
in marriage. When the towers fell, you needed to defend,
to become a part of that. While we disagreed on the necessity
of the war, I supported your position.
We said farewell one rainy morning; I waved to you
as you boarded the plane that would take you far away
among people who hated us. I donned my brave face
and waited for you to come home to me.
Two became one, and life went on. Days passed with bills
being paid, friends calling, solitary dinners and sleeping beside
you only in my dreams. Until the tolling of the door bell. Until
the two men arrived upon our porch.
They said, with regret, that you had died, bravely, a hero defending
his country. I never expected to be alone, sitting in the dark
watching the sky rage wildly against the night. Wondering
how I can face you returning to me in a flag-draped box.