Clarinda Harris

Furlough/For Love
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In a bright room off a dark hall Uncle John
sprawled across the chenille bedspread
in his khaki uniform. Lying on his arm
was soon-to-be-Aunt Jane's small head.
John and Jane were the first grown-
ups I thought of as a "boy" and "girl."
I was four. They were about eighteen.
John's breath lifted Jane's neck-curls.

Grandma squeezed my hand. "It's all right.
After all, it's broad daylight.
And they're engaged, and they love each other,
and they didn't shut the door,
so they're allowed to take a nap together.
And tomorrow he'll go back to the War."