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TOMMY
By: Barry L. Reese

The rhythmic cadence of knitting
needles slows, then stops. Maude
thinks about Tommy. Is he safe?

Toby sleeps near Maude’s feet. Dark
dreams trigger occasional whimpers.
Why hasn’t Tommy come home?

Letters from Iraq are piled neatly on
the kitchen table, bound by a
yellow ribbon. Was his last letter his
last letter?

The Bible on the lamp table lies open
to Matthew, Chapter 5: Blessed are the
peacemakers for they shall be called God’s
sons. Why are warriors our heroes?

Toby rises quickly and runs to the
door. Head cocked, he listens
attentively. What does he hear?

Silence is broken by a loud knock.
Maude steps to the window and
pulls back the curtain. Two soldiers
stand erectly.

Tommy isn’t coming home.