Nine Hundred

Nine hundred times I replay
our last good-bye. That last kiss before
you climb out of bed. That farewell hug
at the train station as you stand uncertain,
about to board. That final wave, 
my desperate plea to the train that
disappears down uncaring tracks 
converging at the coldness of forever.

Nine hundred times I sit
with your Mom as we worry in
shared simpatico. With your Dad who
bitterly recalls the glory days when 
righteousness and honor stood
at the core of such things.

Nine hundred times I look 
for news, only to find repeated lies trying 
to justify what cannot be forgiven. 
Trying to convince me 
this fabricated cause is noble.

Nine hundred times I do not answer
the door or pick up the phone for fear 
there will be words I cannot 
bear to hear. Words that extinguish
my soul the same sad way you say
yours has suffocated.

Nine hundred times I cry
when you return in a box that reads 
"Do Not Open."
I cry with your mother, 
I cry with your father, but 
we cry alone as the
world's tears are for the nine hundred
innocent men, women, and children 
found in one mass grave…..
Killed by the very same man
you warn me not to trust
as you boarded your train to Ukraine.