Changing to the Major’s Dress Blues

by Lisa Stice

This uniform is different from the last
ten years. This one settles the heart,
Your thick brocades of gold,
age-forgiving cummerbund,
(more bravado than anything else)
are like nearing something:
we call it, career: spent in training for
combat zones and long silences.

This is the turning point—
for all these memories of pinning ribbons,
lining up medals, turning buttons,
making certain they’re straight,
so that one day we will retire them to a bag
in a closet next to my evening gowns.