My Hero

He was a jet Fighter Pilot

when I met him –

straight out of “Top Gun”.

He called himself a Trained Killer,

his buddies called him Lurch.


He wore a single zippered flight suit,

a brown leather Bomber jacket, and

he announced, “I am the best -

made of blue twisted steel sprinkled

generously with sex,”


He was eager to fly that jet,

fire the burners and light up the air,

soar above mountains shrouded in smoke

in the name of that freedom

he had been trained to defend.


He led his men into

dog fights, playing war games in the big sky.

When they were done,

they’d swagger to the bar

where they drank Stingers after Happy Hour.


I was his other love,

the Navy Wife with the “hardest job”,

and the mother of our babies.

I waited by the clock counting minutes that dragged

for my Hero to return

to sunlit days and happy nights.


Together, my Hero and I

survived the wars of the sky -

no black car or Chaplain came to my door.

Finally the twenty years of glory,

and tunnels of hours

were replaced with a final, “Welcome home!”


We are old now, but not too old

to understand a modern world’s chaos –

to see the strands of Freedom spliced and burned.

I watch to see if my warrior

trembles at the threats to our land,

wondering if he worries about

the future of our grandchildren.


The days of Happy Hour long over,

he sits in his recliner now,

a beer in one hand, the remote in the other.

He clicks on TV and with a flash

the enemy crashes in the room.

I shudder at the scene,

thanking God my husband is at home with me.


Drawing near to his body

that lures me still

I whisper, “What can we do?”

His steel blue eyes, hooded by thick grey brows

never flinch their iced focus.

“Kill the bastards,” my Hero growls,

swigs down his beer, and turns on the ball game.