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Friday, April 25, 2008


by Earl J. Wilcox

Penny, not Penelope, waits for Otis,
not Odysseus, who has been away
now for sixteen months in Iraq. Before
his current deployment, he was in
Afghanistan more than a year. Three
years ago he was sent to Turkey.
Before that, to Jordan as a Seal. Penny
waits today, not with suitors pleading
for her treasure. Her treasure is in
the Middle East, where Otis pursues
snipers, hoping his armor will be
sufficient, not seeking safe passage
through Muslim, Greek, or even
a Christian God. Only the sun
by day, the moon by night brings
Penny and Otis together when they
agree to pray each day and night as
they go to sleep and when they arise.
Most days it seems twenty years since
Otis spent time with Penny.

Earl J. Wilcox writes about aging, baseball, literary icons, politics, and southern culture. His work appears in more than two dozen journals; he has contributed some 45 poems to New Verse News.