Matthew Borczon

Saying Goodbye

The worst
thing about
the war
and all
the years

since is
is how
easily I
fall back
into formation

a bad
dream and
I’m back
on Camp
wiping blood
off a
skin graft
a helicopter
and I’m
running out
onto 18th
and Sassafras
looking for

at our
local Polish
American festival
I got
locked into
the crosshairs
by nothing
more than
the tent
I was
sitting in
it has
all been
so selfish
constant and
weak until

when I
was holding
my daughter
before she
left for
saying goodbye
for the
first time
since Afghanistan
I suddenly
become some
one else
in the story
in an
I am
the 12yr
old girl
watching her
father get
on a
plane alone

I thought
being me
was the
thing I
could imagine
but watching
Hannah wipe
away tears
as she
closed the
car door
I understood
for the
first time
that her
war was
than mine
and that
she fought
it alone

in every
room where
I promised
her she
would be



Call me

Call me
after the
after they
cut the
bodies down
call me
after the
fires out
and its
time to
look through
the ashes
for what’s
left of
your house
call me
when heart
break hits
like a
behind your
ear when
the air
leaves your
lungs leaves
the room
on her
good bye
call me
after you
bury your
dead the
ones you
loved the
ones who
raised you
call me
when you
lose your
job lose
your home
and lose
your will
to live
call me
when you
hold the
bones of
your life
and watch
them turn
to dust
in front
of your
eyes call
me then
and I
will tell
you about
the war
about the
about the
terror and

then we
can talk
about how
and why
you still
need to



don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to

two brown
birds try
to fly
under my
car this
morning on
my way
to work
I was
thinking about
the meaning
of hope
and didn’t
notice until
I heard
a pop
like a
crumbling tooth
or a
broken promise
you feel
more than

I don’t
look back
deciding instead
to take
it’s tiny
death as
the answer
to my

Matthew Borczon

Matthew Borczon is a nurse and navy sailor from Erie, PA. He is the author of 4 books of poetry. A Clock of Human Bones from the Yellow Chair Review, Battle Lines from Epic Rites, Ghost Train from Weasel Press and Sleepless Nights and Ghost Soldiers from Grey Borders Press. He publishes widely in the small press. When not writing he raises for 4 children with his wife of 20 years.

Artwork: “But Home is Nowhere” by Brice Maiurro.


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