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Poetry Friday No. 19-0913

I had decided my day was too full to write a #PoetryFriday post. Then about an hour ago, the quiet of our afternoon was filled with a helicopter flying low and close, circling more than once. I stepped out to watch then returned to my kitchen table, opened my laptop to my blog dashboard, and drafted the following poem.  It is without title; if you have a suggestion, please share with me in the “Reply” below. {Thank you in advance.}

Updating (Oct 3): I think I’ve found a title: “Return to Me.” The title idea grew out of ideas by Laura Purdie Salas. See my reply to her comment below.]

I hear the chop of your blades
as low over the trees you skim.
Your whirling fades and
then circles back.
Twice you come around,
so close I can see
your bright orange
against the blue sky,
just above green trees.
My eyes follow your path.
I wonder, what do you see?
Why are you circling
my neighborhood?

On my back porch, September’s sun is warm
but I feel a memory-chill. I remember another time,
another place . . .

I hear you coming,
The rhythm of your blades:
whomp, whomp, whomp,
flying low like giant
insects, silhouettes against
a tropical sky. You
never come alone, but
I rarely count how many.
Hueys, we call you.
On maneuvers, I’ve been told.

The house vibrates with your
fierce whomp, whomp, whomp
the rhythm of hope, of life?
Or of destruction, of death?
I shade my eyes to see your
crews inside, and wonder,
How does one choose which
to be — a warrior of the air
or of the jungle? or on the sea?
. . . or under the sea?

As you pass, my little boy stirs
in his afternoon nap. I lay
my hand on his back, gently
hush him, telling him everything
is all right . . . when really my life
is torn raw and your fading
whomp, whomp, whomp
is the sound of war far away,
yet so close.

I stand at my kitchen calendar
turn the months to count the
weeks until his return.
I push aside fear, turn
to his picture, look in his
eyes. I reach for him,
hold his image close —
long enough to warm
its cold metal frame.

I look across the harbor
where Pacific becomes sky.
Someday he will return
to me from beneath the sea.

© 2019 Alice Nine (draft)

Photo: USS James Monroe SSBN 622
My husband served aboard the USS James Monroe.

This week’s #PoetryFriday Roundup is hosted by
Laura Prudie Salas at Writing the World for Kids

#PoetryFriday: Poetry Friday Roundup Schedule


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