Unconventional Warfare


When the wooden horse rolled in

and its side fell open, you braced,

stiffenening your muscles, but

no assault, only darkness

with a promise of surprise—

so you waited. Sometimes

you climbed up its flank and neck

looking into its eye’s cavern

and held your breath. It followed

on its ancient casters with creaky

warnings at the commissary,

the family readiness meeting,

the ring of your land line.

It followed you to the officers’ BBQ

and its wooden jaws cracked open.

She’s no moto wife. She doesn’t

even run. Her dog is just a tiny little thing.

She doesn’t plan to join the softball team,

and you saw the other wives

cordoned off inside the beast’s belly,

and your husband ate ribs and laughed.

LISA STICE received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Arts from the University of Alaska- Anchorage. She taught high school for ten years and is now a military wife who lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. Her full-length poetry collection, Uniform, is forthcoming with Aldrich Press. You can find out more about her and her publications on her blog and Facebook page.