The 101st

After the soldiers leave, Farha
And her three daughters and her two nieces and her mother
Spend a week cleaning the house
That has a hole where the door used to be.
They take all the china from the cupboards,
Pile it on the floor, on the table, on the counter;
It takes them two days to wash them.
Then, they put the vases to bed on the sofa
And, sitting in a circle on the floor, they all find a job
And soon the vases are clean.
They spend two days washing every piece of fabric
From every cupboard, every drawer.
They spend a night wiping all the walls,
Hours sweeping the floors.
But when Farha can’t find her burkas she realizes
This house will never again be her home.

(And in twenty minutes, the Airborne’s
Undone it all again.)

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