I get so excited that I can't stand it.
I open my mailbox, and there it sits.
A letter from the Pentagon, to me.
My first thought, naturally, is that
they've found Joe.
My long lost cousin,
still missing, over in Vietnam.
I know better, of course, I shouldn't get my hopes up.
I just can't help it.
My stomach fills with butterflies.
I even pray.
Not to God, I'm sure He's busy.
I pray, to the souls of my Dad,
and cousin Joe himself.
Please. Let this be the letter.
The one that says they've found him,
finally, and they'll be sending him home.
I picture Dad and Joe laughing at me.
Teasing me, the way Dad always did.
Enjoying my anticipation.
They already know the story,
The one that I yearn to hear.
The one that so deserves an ending.
They know that I won't find out today.
I sit in my driveway, staring at the
letter for an extra long moment.
My hands tremble ever so slightly.
I slowly, surgically open the envelope,
in case it's the one, that I'll keep forever.
Alas, today was not the day.
A pleasant form letter explaining how
Army operations, like everything else,
are being set back by the damn 'Rona.
They wish my family the very best.
They're still looking. Just not today.
Not tomorrow, or anytime soon.
Not until we're all back to normal.
I'm not sure we'll recognize
the new normal when it comes along.
On the plus side, at least I'm on the list.
They will continue the search
at some point.
They have my address.
Someday, my letter will come.