a year ago
ljhgeist
in English · 3,303 Views
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The Long Deployment
A soldiers life is never easy and neither is his wife's. Long absences, long days, longer nights.. I came across this in a literary magazine called Motion Poems. It's kind of fitting for Veterans Day.   For weeks, I breathe his body in the sheet …..and pillow. I lift a blanket to my face. There’s bitter incense paired with something sweet, …..like sandalwood left sitting in the heat or cardamom rubbed on a piece of lace. …..For weeks, I breathe his body. In the sheet I smell anise, the musk that we secrete …..with longing, leather and moss. I find a trace of bitter incense paired with something sweet. …..Am I imagining the wet scent of peat and cedar, oud, impossible to erase? …..For weeks, I breathe his body in the sheet— crushed pepper—although perhaps discreet, …..difficult for someone else to place. There’s bitter incense paired with something sweet. …..With each deployment I become aesthete of smoke and oak. Patchouli fills the space …..for weeks. I breathe his body in the sheet until he starts to fade, made incomplete, …..a bottle almost empty in its case. There’s bitter incense paired with something sweet. …..And then he’s gone. Not even the conceit of him remains, not the resinous base. …..For weeks, I breathed his body in the sheet. He was bitter incense paired with something sweet. Jehanne Dubrow 
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4 comments
Wow, this is really fitting. A beautiful poem. I enjoyed the many aromatic details... almost as if I could smell them all myself. It really speaks to how you feel when you're missing someone, because the sense of smell is (for me at least) the most intimately tied to memory... life as a soldier's wife can't be easy. Much less the life of a soldier. It's hard for me to even imagine, but I appreciate the sacrifices people make so that so many can be safe.
This is spot on. :( WAY before we were married, the man who became my husband was deployed. (He was simply my boyfriend at the time.) I was still in high school. I remember this feeling so purely. His scent was everywhere: sweaters, tee shirts, blankets, pillows. It was brutal. Then, years later, he became a police officer and we were married. After he was killed, I went through this again...on a much higher level. Even today, 6 years later, I have tees, sweaters, and a pillow that was his. It doesn't leave my bed. Now it's my "cuddle pillow". The scent is long gone, but the feeling is there. I can imagine his scent and smile when I hold it. Maybe it's like a kid with a blankie? I don't know. But it will never go away.
@ButterflyBlu you're right, it will never go away. I'm so sorry for your loss. My husband is in law enforcement as well. I can only imagine the sorrow and am glad for the comfort those items will always bring to you.
I needed this....patiently waiting on my boyfriend to come home from deployment 9 long months 4 to go