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Metallic Transfer Cases

by Nan Ottenritter

Coffins–warehoused abroad–
return soldiers to our homeland via Dover Air
Force base.

His family dreads seeing the ramp descend
from the back of the transport jet,
yet it does.

Six soldiers, camouflaged in desert garb, white gloved,
carry him down, line him up in a sea of red, white, and blue
in the shelter.

Surrounded by silver–hangar, mortuary instruments, ambulance steps, stars–
he is welcomed home, while all
of the color in his family’s life turns to grey.