A Telling Silence
Maria needed to close the door
on Ignacio, ten-thousand miles gone.
Close the latch on their relationship,
hear it click.
Why did he choose another
year of war instead of her?
So, she wrote that last letter, told
him she would wait no more.
That she’d find another
father for Emilio.
Maria needed to write it all,
but the letter sits unstamped.
Her priest had said fighting men
shouldn’t get bad news from home.
She strikes a match, watches it
flare, subside, transform writing
paper to tangerine flame, turn
regret to smoke and falling ash.