First Letter

I watch you

sitting there

reading a book

late afternoon sunlight

shining in your hair

thinking about that letter

written so long ago

on a whim 

to a girl I never met

a warm tropical night

on top of a mountain

as the war wore on

in the distance 

the crack of weapons

choppers flying the wounded

to the hospital below

and all you could smell was 

shit and diesel fuel burning 

and there I was

sitting in my hootch

a small light burning

shadows dancing on walls

looking at that picture

of you with dark rimmed glasses

hair shoulder length

smiling for the photo

I take pen in hand

on that cheap writing paper

the crinkly kind

designed for airmail

and I write

a stammering, stuttering

less than poetic letter

that I’m sure you’ll hate

when a few weeks later

there was an answer

and the beginning of it all

baring our dreams and hopes

in letters across the sea

that brings us to this day

as I look upon your face

and the love we share

all from a letter written long ago


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