What day is it tomorrow? It’s Valentines, Mom!
Your father always sent me a Valentine in the mail.
Once a really big one. Afterwards it just fit into my card box.
He wasn’t very good at expressing his thoughts, but tried to
in the Valentine cards. They found him in the parking lot
of the shopping centre. They said it was a good thing he hadn’t
turned the car on and driven away. He had a bag beside him
on the seat – apples and prunes; the things he was supposed to get.
I went to the hospital. They showed him to me. His eyes were still
open. I looked into them. I looked down, down into endless emptiness.
He was gone. I closed them. They asked a nurse to stay with me
for a while in case I got hysterical I suppose.
There I was, in a moment – a widow!
It was so unexpected. I never thought about it.
They laid him out in his blazer with his war medals.
Some ladies asked me if he had a Cross for Valour.
I said no, but he should have. He was so brave.
He always looked after his men. So many died.
He sometimes told me. So many young men.
They were not prepared. I asked my brothers,
Why are you going to war? All three of them.
Dead. They were so sure they would come back.
I think of all the cemeteries all those white crosses.
Every one of them a life. All the questions.