It is just past five
and I have woken up my boyfriend,
who’s rummaging through another of
his endless cache of duffel bags
for the gym ensemble required
for his PT test.
Every second day
of every drill weekend,
he dons this,
after having intoned
“But I don’t want to play soldier today.”
Yet, when he returns home tonight, exhausted,
he’ll still make dinner for us
and I’ll clean up the chaos of his culinary creation.

For every year of his life –
ever since his Korean-born mother stood a four-year old Ron at the kitchen stove
and instructed him to watch, Ron has been a cook more than anything else – soldier, student, helicoptor pilot, behaviorist.

He holds me close,
assures me,
“You got this,”
then grabs his army backpack.
Before trying to grab a few minutes sleep,
I pour a glass of cold water.

We’re both tired this morning.

4 thoughts on “Soldier/Cook

  1. What a revealing story about discipline and perseverance. Little touches like the duffel bag, cooking lessons from the age of four, cleaning up culinary chaos, and the glass of cold water make this poem all the more human and relatable. Keep Writing!

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