Three Poems by Matthew Borczon

Matt BorczonThe difference

Between
deployments
between
Afghanistan
and
Manhattan
between
war
and
pandemic
is
not
as
big
as
I
thought
it
would
be

just
different
dreams
filling
the
same
sad
nights
watching
an
old
man
speak
Russian
telling
his
daughter
goodbye
by
phone
before
he
dies
alone

over
and
over
behind
my
eyes

My wife

asks me
to take
our daughter
to Wednesday
morning mass

I laugh
and tell
my daughter
not to
stand too
close in
case God
is mad
because I
never went
to church
on deployment

my youngest
says but
daddy you
did pray
didn’t you

and I
don’t know
how to
tell her
I only
prayed
when somebody
died

so instead
I just
tell her
that I
prayed almost
every day.

I was

leaving
with the
Navy my
orders were
for 210
days so
we snuck
downstairs
to say
goodbye
and make
love one
more time
but both
dogs were
watching
and you
were afraid
we would
wake the
kids after
you said
you were
sorry it
was not
more wonderful

but this
is not
my first
deployment
so we
both already
know there
is nothing
wonderful
about goodbye