|image by Rebecca Sygnus|
a kind of invasive pet.
Wherever we went, we had nothing,
and so performed and begged and stole,
spreading our arms in sheepish apology as our bellies growled.
We wore the emblems and baubles of our homeland,
as meaningless as gum wrappers here.
We were restless,
thrilled to be free of all that constrained us at home.
None of us were ever going to wear
those conical hats
or our men grow those little goatees threaded gray with eastern wisdom.
Someone called my name, in accusation or greeting
and I looked up to see only my familiar ceiling.
There was no "we", no scraping sharp-edged survival,
and so I rose, fetched the morning paper from the step,
And searched through every page, as if for crumbs
to feed the thing I had felt
in the life I never lived at all
with the imagined companions upon whom there was no reporting
Though I missed them with a ferocity that held on for hours
like a dying foxhole brother.
For Sunday Muse #77, from a wild and intense dream I had before waking this morning. Why I should dream of being part of a lost military expedition in Indochina is beyond me, but there it is.