In the arid desert of Iraq,
memories become a tangible mirage
through a soldier?s pen
and a crumpled, tearstained napkin.
His childhood memories are summoned.
Home blessed with children, friends and love?s warmth
where tables resplendent in cloths of tawny green
display silver trays overflowing with tasty fare.
Grandfather designs pilgrims? hats, tells stories.
Granny bastes a Butter Ball, seasons stuffing
and prepares cranberry sauce.
Uncles, aunts and neighbors bake pumpkin pies.
Mom and Dad prepare the salads and the ham.
Grandmother?s kitchen, cornucopia
of scrumptious dishes and sweet desserts,
is missed in solitude.
Aromas like rosemary tease his nostrils.
Grown ups savor a tangy Chardonnay
while the Mayflower docks in the backyard.
Called to gather around Grandfather?s work of art,
the family pretends to see sails not his pickup truck.
Brothers, cousins, friends, giggle, hold hands,
bow heads and unanimously pray.
History and tradition unfold before their curious eyes.
Hearts unite in prayer as Grandfather thanks the Lord.
Reminded of the pilgrims? courage,
children reluctantly wear their hats.
With misty eyes Granny asks God to Bless America.
Her prayer claims His kingdom as the special place
for those gone to preserve freedom.
An angry roar ends the young man?s reverie.
A dark sky is painted with the amber red of fire.
The soldier puts out his cigarette,
folds the napkin,
and before he is relieved from duty
?If this is all there is, thank you, for the memories.?
Gloria Pimentel was born in the Aztec land, came to live in California at a very young age and grew between two cultures. She took up writing since 1999 and since then, several of her poems and short stories have been published on the internet.