Back from War This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

October 27, 2011
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My uncles' bedsheets are softer than mine.
I know they must feel like
sand and snow and grass.
Now and then
one of them will let
out one solitary snore.
Perhaps it sounds like gunfire,
or plane engines or the lamenting wind.
I know because of the

Hastily stifled,
it echoes through my chest,
it joins the dreams of
solemn Cambridge accented phone calls
that I had while they were gone.

Scream and don't wake up.
Mutters in the suddenly ominous
Queen and Country

I'm sorry

Hold on

One curls around his abdomen
in phantom pain;
The other's hands fly to
to tourniquet.

Don't touch them!
Can't touch them,
You learned that lesson early.

Crawl over to sit at the foot of their bed,
up to rest between them if you dare.
Talk of nothing much,
keep your voice down low.
soft singing helps,
(make sure it's not in Hebrew,
you learned that lesson too)
calm and quiet
Ar Hyd y Nos.

Mostly, when they wake up,
you hug them and leave.
They don't want you there
for what comes next.

But sometimes
they stop you,
and you spend the night
held tight between them.

You don't sleep,
but they do,
and you hope it's because
you remind them why
they came back from

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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