Home Sweet Home
Thomas O. Marino

It was May 1975 and the Vietnam War had ended and Ron returned home.

Sitting in his recliner drinking a beer he thought that something was missing or defaced or the walls were a different color. Gazing out the window, crocuses dotted the yard in lilac and yellow.

On his first night home, he lay in bed bathed in the bluish light of the moon. He was about to doze off when in the distance he heard the sound of a car backfiring and the bang made his hands tremble. He opened his eyes and stared at his wife’s back. It was a delicate pretty back.

During the night he tossed and turned wondering why people kill each other, and then the sun quietly danced along the walls in swirling balls of light.

Lying in bed listening to the birds, he noticed their wedding picture was missing from the night table. In the morning he went to a nursery and bought a maple sapling and in the afternoon they planted a tree.

That night the moon was full and the tide was high. Unable to sleep, he drove to the beach where the waves came in black and silver ripples that spread like wings and then crashed into the earth.

When he returned home at two in the morning, his wife stuck her head out of the window and asked, “What are you doing? Do you know what time it is?”

“I’m watering the tree.”

“Come to bed.”


First published: May, 2014
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