He’s back from Baghdad.
This call of duty
is his mother’s kitchen.
The chicken’s dry
but not like desert sands.
And there’s a murkiness to the cabbage.
But at least it’s free of body parts.
She never was much of a cook
but he’s just thankful that
her recipes don’t include bomb-making.
Her intentions are to make sure he grows
even though he’s already at
his optimum height and weight.
She still can’t get over the fact
that he’s no longer a child
but she’s not the enemy
and that’s good enough for him.
And those that join him at the table
he’d give your life for
but the odds of that happening
are of lottery-winning proportions.
This is peace.
This is what he wanted
for the land his unit occupied
before reality started
calling in its chits.
Now, only home holds out such
And its battles to reach this serenity
were modest, bloodless,
and in no doubt of their conclusion.
Someone says, “Pass the salt, please.”
without a shot being fired.
About the author-
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in New Plains Review, Perceptions and the anthology, No Achilles with work upcoming in Big Muddy Review, Gargoyle, Coal City Review and Nebo.
Illustrated by –
Arpitta Jairath is a nineteen year old studying in Delhi University, still searching for an aim in her life. She is an amateur photographer and Instagram is her best friend.
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