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|I've never asked them, those two aunts of mine.
My mother, when I asked, looked up and sighed
as if she'd opened a door, hoping to find
them there, but didn't, as if they might hide
somewhere. But I remember sitting between
them on the porch while they both stroked my hair.
Summer sagged breathlessly against the screen.
I slipped down in their smells. I slept in there.
Now I lean down to help them up the steps.
I want to say what I could never say,
as they hold me, kissing mv ears, my neck.
I lift my head. It's wind that slaps my face.
I want to ask them once, before they go,
how they lived. That's all I want to know.
OIF Veteran, SGT, US ARMY