Opening the Closing Door

Editor back-issues, Janet Buck, poetry

Your only son is a stat in the war.
Our U.S. flag will grace
his coffin coming home.
Royal blues inside the cloth
become a permanent bruise of grief.
Your nightgown weeps down
dumplings of your swaying hips —
his father sits in twilight on the patio
replaying games of chess he lost,
the house a place of hollowing.
No message from a general
can mitigate the darkness here.
Serenading nightingales,
off-key and singing all the same.
Talons gripped the olive branch;
it splintered into gray remains.
Time to dye white towels green.
Surrender is impossible.

You leave his room just as it is.

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