Braving the Storm: Northhampton VA Hospital

Until the blizzard hits on the Mass Pike,

the four hour drive north to visit you goes well

Packed in the VW, the kids and I play games,

vote to continue to brave the storm

Remove your watch. Place your house keys,wallet and comb on the desk. Sit. Unwind.


I’ll say the coaches asked for you at the awards

banquet , won’t mention that the boys punching upset the trophy table before dinner was served.

You’ll see them play next winter.

Place your clothes in the sack. Put on paper slippers. Hand over your car keys. Keep the coins.


Don’t have money to buy our daughter a prom corsage,

to dryclean your sister’s borrowed gown

and lacy shawl. Sandals won’t show

in the photos your mother will send you.

Lock your belt and laces with your meds and shoes. Pee now.


West of Worcester the storm worsens,

the frightened the kids and I guess

the meaning of good tours, war-games, outward bound, locked wards.

 Remove your dog tag flashbacks. Tuck them with your nightmares under your pillow. About face.

Jacqueline Murray Loring


This poem was featured in the Museum’s 2014 exhibit: Sacrifice & Service: The American Military Family

Read more about the author here.




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