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Battle Fatigues
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By Michelle Angelini
Other Poems by Michelle Angelini

Battle Fatigues



As I enter Union Station,

he, is wearing battle fatigues,

while he stands in the MetroLink line

to get his ticket.

This soldier hoists a full backpack.

Two suitcases

sit on the floor beside him.

Do these carry precious memories

of his loved ones while he

is on the other side of the world?

I approach him,

asking if he is coming

home or being deployed.


He replies, “I’m being deployed again.”

I want to cry for this soldier,

since no one is there to see him off.

Thanking him for the battle he would fight,

wishing him a safe tour of duty

and return home.

I ask, “Can I give you a hug?”


After the hug, I leave to catch my train

on the subway platform, I wish I’d asked

him more information.

Does he have a family?

How long is his tour of duty?

Does he want me to write him letters,

so he will hear his name at mail call?

How long has he been in the service?

Questions that to me have no significance

in my safe life,

yet in his tour of danger, might mean

one more person cares about

what he is facing at the end of this journey.


Both of us fight battles:

mine to survive daily problems;

his, returning to a war he didn’t start—

one that he might not believe in,

although he serves his country.


Two strangers meet, briefly,

in a train station—

a nameless encounter

that stays in my mind.

I speculate as I move

through my busy, tiring day,

how long the meeting

would stay in this soldier’s mind

and how much it might mean to him.


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Submitted: Monday, February 18, 2008

Last Updated: Monday, February 18, 2008

About the Poet
Michelle Angelini, aka Chelle, has been writing poetry for over 40 years. She has been published in many Southern California chapbooks and calendars. I am retired and dealing with my health issues. My Saviour, Jesus is always with me. God holds me within His wings. I am working slowly on a second book poetry and possibly my photography. And, I'm over 65 now and still loving it, even though my social life is not what it once was because of the painful fibromyalgia. It's quite frustrating, but I know Jesus still has "work" for me to do to show how much He blesses me.

Other Poems by Michelle Angelini

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