hazy dry, as if in midair
distant beeps, rattles,
blood pressure cuff wheezing up,
releasing, hour after hour,
day may become day

Of all possible recollections,
you pick the one
from December twelfth, thirteenth
or fourteenth, you revolve,
in ice cold Korea
showering down
in luxuriance, soap,
frigid water trailing over your skin
after seven months in the hills.

And I speak of giving birth,
a parallel I cannot pin down
until I realize my birthed baby
could now be your soldier …

and how things imprinted on your mind
in that natal rush
still ruminate,
wind themselves around this morning,
the smells of this air,
the sounds of this sanitary,
quiet day.

For my father on Veterans Day