Click here to listen to James Hoch reading this poem. Some things, I knew,                            were beyond choosing—        father leaving, the endless

caring for mother, that love
         is a salving: what medics and nurses do.

                   I was too small to object,
        the conscription too severe.

So when you said
                          you felt drafted
        into marriage, the shutter

screwing up my face, you
        quickly followed, just a metaphor,

putting me at ease.
                             Try another,
         I said, closing the window,

drawing a breath between each
        sentence, trailing closely every word.