Sunday, October 17, 2010

Quarters (March 1989, age 17)

Another family
moves on.
Quarters locked.
No life inside,
Just sunlight on
Hardwood floors
And no time for dust
To settle.

Heavy black boots
On cement steps outside;
Combat boots
With a family of
Other soles
Surrounding them.

Key opens door.

Footsteps on hardwood floors,
Echoing in
Unfilled quarters

Scent of fresh paint
Permeates until
Moving van...Arrives!
Boxes and furniture;
Organized chaos in every room

Objects out of boxes,
Put in their places
And boxes go to the basement;
Packing papers to the garbage

Quarters filled again,
Another assignment to serve

Memories in another
Temporary home
That will be
Permanent in memory

Assignment over,
Family moves on,
Boxes filled again.
Furniture packed

Quarters empty, again

This was composed less than a year after my dad retired from the Army. At the time, I had to strongly fight the urge to show my ID card any time I stepped foot in a store that reminded me of the PX or commissary. Not needing my ID card seemed as foreign as not needing to stand for the Star Spangled Banner before a movie started or going to school with kids that had known each other for more than three years. I don't seem to have many drafts of Quarters, which is a little unusual for the time.

1 comment:

  1. This is the second time I've read this. It an incredibly insightful piece. Of course this is coming from someone who has never lived with in military housing.