The Homefront’s Lament

Canada, 1917

I just don’t understand.

Don’t look at me like that, I understand what happened, I just don’t comprehend how I could be so ignorant.

No, I was ignorant; I only pecked him because I thought he was going to be back.

Well, why didn’t I give him a decent kiss?

No, I had wanted to be strong. I wasn’t going to cry and beg him to stay. I thought he’d never see battle, no blood, not even a scratch. And I’d let him go and think he was a hero. But he’ll be back by Christmas and tell embellished war stories until the day he dies.

Honestly, you don’t know how I feel, do you? Because you don’t know what it feels like for the winter to melt into the glorious spring and to shiver and shiver all the more?

Because I knew now that he has faced combat.

And that spring becomes summer and you get colder and colder instead of hotter.

When you can’t look at another man without silently cursing him; because your fiancé is fighting for hollow pride; when this man sits in blessed Canada smoking a cigar and collecting money from another’s sacrifice?

And you didn’t feel what I did. I felt disgusted at myself because I had always flirted with the other fellas even when I could see the jealousy in his eyes. Now that fun turns into scorn and despair.

How can you look at me like I’m a freak?

I’m sorry, but the second winter left me deprived from all innocence as I realized the cruelty of mankind, meaningless death.

The heat of summer left in its wake mere resent that had taken over any drip of kindness I had possessed. For the ground reaped the last of what I had on this fiend of a continent.

The only hope I have now is that by a miracle he returns.

Why am I telling you this though? You won’t even talk, you’re life is so simple. I bet you’ve never sat alone waiting for a letter, until you almost run to the post office, knowing today he’ll have sent at least a small love note.

The world is not cruel enough to leave you utterly desolate.

Then you get a letter! You rip it open and everything is crushed. And have you ever been so dejected you feel crazy enough to pour out your heart to a tree?
No I forgot you’re the tree; I’m the crazy one.


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