by Charles Kesler

The distance between yesterday
and today is one million miles.
And the weight, of you, and the kid,
the kid, what a heavy thing it is
having a baby in a war zone.
Between here and the jungle are
miles and miles of inhospitable
desert. Only the moments with you
were safe from the inferno of combat.
My head upon your breast comforting
me from the sounds of dying all
around me. I lived. And one week
before I went home you held a baby up
just outside the perimeter for me
to see and then you cursed me
when I did not respond. How was I
supposed to respond when it was
your job to be with man after man
and I only came in from the war
every couple of months and rarely
more than a day or two and then
back out again? The distance between
me out there in the jungle and you
back on your back was one million
miles. But I did adore the baby.

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