And so it turns out
Like so much else
Time, too, is a fiction
And we reply
As together we change the batteries
And remake the days to suit the seasons of sleep.
But mostly we forget.
Has it really been … years?
It was sort of on the news back then.
We watched the flicker of shadows
On the walls of our caves
Sometimes thumbnail pictures of the martyrs
Appeared on A19.
But we don’t call them martyrs
That’s what they do.
Later we told each other stories of healing, redemption and Surge.
Gradually, the procession of heroes came to a halt
The parade was over
We bade farewell to Walter Reed
And drove back across Memorial Bridge
As if that was “it”
As if it was “done”
As if time was a thread
That we cut and tied off
As we finished our stitching.
Some regrets, maybe.
Like never learning that terp’s real name.
Like never having the chance to converse with a native
Without the gun in our hand.
And other things.
Things we’ve forgotten.
Like dropping a stitch and having to start all over again,
One more time.
Or that time we forgot to change the batteries in the smoke alarm
And it went off at 3AM.