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What to Say

You came home
green-white-tan
your name
stitched nicely
to your chest
you were
crisp.
Recently ironed.
All purpose and no smiles
and you stopped.
Two feet from me
and I
didn’t know
what to say.
I didn’t know
what to say
to this soldier
green-white-tan
or to hands
freshly imprinted
by M16’s.
I didn’t know
what to say
to eyes
sharp as ice
or to ears
waiting for
‘at ease soldier’.
I didn’t know
what to say
to boots
laced tight
or hair
buzz cut clean.
I didn’t know
what to say
to skin
well worn
or your
fresh uniform.
I didn’t know
what to say.



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