Not Even Second

**Inspired by too many true stories**

When you said, “I do,”

I had an expectation

That my place with you was steadfast

But I missed an annotation

My place falls far behind

So many other things

Army, Unit, Your job, the guys,

And all else the Army brings

You’re a hero, a sexy grunt,

You sacrificed so much

I’m just the wallflower in the corner

Standing here, your crutch

The person getting up

To help you through each day

Quietly, unacknowledged,

While all praises go your way

You’re injuries are noble

So vast, so broad, so bleak

The kinds of things that could have

Stopped you if you had been weak

But, lo, you overcame them

While I was by your side

Sleeping on a chair, the floor,

Swallowing my pride

And every step along the way

My sacrifice unnoticed

Toiling tirelessly for you, for us,

Wife far from peace remotest

Your anniversaries, Your injuries

Your accomplishments, Your stuff

Every day are over shadowing

All the things that make me tough

Your rages, the eggshells,

The abuse and the drinking,

Leave me just at a loss

As to what it is you’re thinking

As if all the rest of this shit

Isn’t enough to endure

There are the other women you choose

Over me, despite all my allure

With every fight and every row

You swear your love and faith

Yet every action that you take

Haunts me like a wraith

When will I be enough?

Will I ever be your priority?

Will my words and deeds be recognized?

Or in this partnership will I stay the minority?






Inspired by the stories of nearly every one of the hundreds of military spouses I have known after a combined 13 years of volunteering, Federal service, and spousedom.


Cassandra, you know who you are

Minda, for being brave enough to say no more

Linsey, because you’re a fucking genius

Kelly, for building a beautiful marriage despite it all

And every other spouse I know who has ever been through that special hell

17 thoughts on “Not Even Second

    • As always, thank you!!

      For a long time I kept the verse inside because I feel more vulnerable in the writing, just like I kept the tragic bits in a box in the closet in the basement of my mind. But reading your verse has sparked something, and having a spade called a spade did as well.

      I guess it’s time to do both prose and poetry again.

      (I was a poet first. Only recently did the prose in storytelling magic itself into existence.)

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’ll not say much, as you know I generally (publicly) only have a snarky mode.
    But ‘wow’ seems fairly eloquent.
    The power of your honesty and passion shows, whichever format you choose to write it in.

    Liked by 1 person

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