Starry, Starry Night

Bright stars shine like diamonds,

the night sky an inky, black background.

Families mill about

watching, waiting, expecting.

Balloons flutter in the breeze

like butterflies awaiting the wind.

We tie one to the fence,

the cold, metal fence,

gray, chain-link, and slightly rusted.

The divider.

And we wait.

A plane barrels down.

All that wait are crying out

laughter, shouts, cheers,

tears, joy, happiness, relief,

gratitude, excitement, elation,

And we wait.

They stream out of the plane’s belly,

some running, others calling for family.

And we wait.

A man walks up and touches my head.

I shrink back against my mother.

It’s scary, not recognizing him.

He kneels and takes off his helmet,

tears streaming down his face.

Daddy’s home.