By Jehanne Dubrow
I see my husband shooting in Platoon,
and there he is again in M*A*S*H (how weird
to hear him talk like Hawkeye Pierce), and soon
I spot him everywhere, his body smeared
with mud, his face bloodied. He’s now the star
of every ship blockade and battle scene—
The Fighting 69th, A Bridge Too Far,
Three Kings, Das Boot, and Stalag 17.
In Stalingrad he’s killed, and then
he’s killed in Midway and A Few Good Men.
He’s burned or gassed, he’s shot between the eyes,
or shoots himself when he comes home again.
Each movie is a training exercise,
a scenario for how my husband dies.
Jehanne Dubrow is the author of three poetry collections: “The Hardship Post,” “From the Fever-World” and most recently “Stateside,” which is an exploration of the long history of military wives waiting for their husbands to return from war.
Dubrow, who is married to an officer in the U.S. Navy, is an assistant professor in creative writing and literature at Washington College.
See her previous Weekly Poem, “Nonessential Equipment,” here.