by Walt McDonald
Pulling our Stetsons low, we whispered songs
to sweethearts who clung so close we danced
in slow motion, heartache of steel guitars,
vows we swore with our bones. Their hair was the air
for an hour. We breathed and held them close,
ignoring the war for the night, voices
on jukebox wax winding around like a rope.
One week we kissed them hard and rode off,
swearing we'd bring back silk and souvenirs.
Long after a war no one we cared for
survived without scars, Earl and I are here
with wives as old as country songs and guitars,
our children older than all of us that fall.
Don's a name on the wall in Washington.
I hear his name sometimes in questions
at class reunions. I haven't heard from Carl.