Sunday, January 2, 2011

For T.

I'm not even your aunt
I'm whatever you, firstborn daughter of my cousin are to me
Second cousin
So who am I - great-aunt? Perhaps.
Which is to say - nobody to you.
I think I bought you a baby clothes outfit at Bloomies when you were born
And sent it to your mom.
And then your parents got divorced
And it was all very ugly, I'd hear snippets about it from the sidelines
You weren't a princess.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The world, according to some, needs its scapegoats, its sacrificial lambs.
I'm afraid, dear girl, and I think you know it too, that you are one.
As was I - I've outgrown that mantle, thank God.
I wish you well with your new husband.
I met him last weekend - he seems really nice.
You're going to war - you seem tough
and brave & scared
And I'm really proud of you. You have not had it easy.
I heard a lot of naysaying on the QT about your marital plans
Too sudden! Marriage is a covenant! God - talk about self-important.
I take marriage seriously too - I've lasted 24 years, though only the first 20 were happy. But hey - the first 20 were happy - which surprised a friend of mine the other day - who hasn't enjoyed even that much.
You're about to be deployed. And all these naysayers, whispering innuendo -
who is this Johnny? Feliz Navidad, snarkily said, with a racist spin. And the guy looks like you or me, really good looking, in the military himself, well-spoken, tolerating a lot of B.S. for a weekend, at least.
I heard a lot of handwringing about upcoming nuptials,
fretting that it's not Before God, not in Church, they're too young, whatever
And not one uttered peep of misgiving about her going to the frontlines, no kidding, no metaphor here, to be possibly shot at, while trying to help others
Not one peep. I couldn't say anything while I was visiting. It was too fresh
too new news, I have no "standing," I'm tolerated - but it's not my house
But I thought about it as my week went on
And I felt for you, dear girl.
We'll never be friends, not close acquaintances
I'm not in your orbit
But I know hypocrisy, or a world turned upside down when I see it.
I heard misgivings about your hopes for love - for family - for stability - for a connection
"We're just worried that the marriage won't last after what she might go through in her deployment."
I'm worried about her deployment! About the war part!
I'd like to hear a misgiving about that!
So I uttered that - went against the party line - and felt the other end stiffen
But so what? I have to, at some point, say what I think.
I have many, many more misgivings about the rash effects of war - than of love.
I wish you well, dear girl.

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