One Woman: Three Stories

She’d prayed for him to come home
from the desert,
but when that prayer, that plea—
that form of collective bargaining
that went on amongst the Marine wives—
was fulfilled,
she realized though he was returned to her,
broken and missing parts,
she would not return him,
for he was lost in himself,
even as he was found.

She’d prayed for her daughter,
that the Master Physician would make her whole,
but He swallowed up the sting of death,
taking what felt like half of herself.
Then the Gentleman Triumphant
gave her a second chance at motherhood
through a son—
the son a daughter had to die,
so that he would be born.

She’d prayed for Death—
a reprieve from the pain—
but it was through suffering that she wrote
“Marjorie’s Theme,” her last sonata.
She prayed that every time it was played,
the notes would carry up into the heavens
where her daughter was waiting for her,
along with the husband who was no longer lost,
but found by the One who had made him.

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