The sky was a misty pumpkin shade.

December 13, 2007
The sky was a misty pumpkin shade.
Then a deep turquoise, then a bright lime.
He had been airlifted to the military hospital,
he couldn’t hear.
The months after the war were dark and brooding.
And eventually, because of his handicap, he
was discharged and flown home to America.
For the first few months of his captivity, Eddie
went to sleep with Marguerite’s picture in his helmet,
propped up in front of him.
He held out his hands.
Eddie rubbed his temples.

The next day, he is 37.
The morning is already thick, with humidity.
Eddie lifted his eyes.
Eddie looked confused.
He shook his head.
“You say you should have died instead of me.
But during my time on Earth, people died instead of me, too.”
He learned to pray quickly.
His voice was soothing.

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