See you soon I tell her
as I bend to kiss her cheek.
God willing she says at the door.
The ride in the convertible makes her hair stand
at attention so she looks taller.
But, framed in the window, she looks small,
fragile like old china.
She, who joined the army as a teen,
took up guns and ammo and bombs,
who watched walls and buildings disintegrate
and families disperse like seeds on the wind.
She came to us from a world of no tomorrows
with strength, faith, hope,
instincts of a hungry animal.
She no longer smells the sharpness
of gunpowder on her hands, but she sees
trails of tears left by those who disappeared.
Tonight we have come from her 80th birthday
a party where generations celebrated her,
ate, sang and danced like there was no tomorrow.
As she waves goodbye from the window,
I know that she knows
one day her tomorrow won’t come
-- perhaps unexpectedly like the heart attack
that stole her husband.
I watch for the light to go on
the curtains to close
god willing I whisper to myself.