Her Husband’s On Another Tour Of The Middle East

By John Grey

At least he has his fellow soldiers to complain to.

What can she do? Write a letter to the pentagon?

She met with one who truly believes that prayer

will sabotage an enemy rifle, guide a boot

to the left or right of a roadside bomb.

She longed to throttle the stupid woman.


He is gone again

and she refuses to bear it

in any ordinary way.


So she picks and prods her way

through a battlefield of her own making.

She stamps down hard on flesh and bone,

grinds them into the earth.

She kicks hope around

like the skulls of the fallen.

She rolls around in the carnage

and blood splashes on her skirt,

her blouse, her face.

Stained red all over,

she stumbles back to her bungalow,

makes herself a coffee,

plumps down in a kitchen chair,

and waits for him.


John Grey is an Australian author, published in Hawaii Pacific Review, Dalhousie Review and Qwerty, currently residing in the US.