buffalo plaid soldier

a high school girl dreams of buffalo plaid bandanas and button downs
you know, of which that is
adorned on the tartan kilts of gaelic men
blocked by the bodies of beloved on top of a picnic blanket
became synonymous with her solace.
every day, outside school
sporting his signature plaid bandana and button-down.
he'd stay with me at home,
performing the tasks my parents weren't able to cuz
we didn't have the privilege of a white picket fence.
the days were adorned with
reruns of star trek
philosophical lectures, despite the fact that i
definitely did not have the brainpower to spell "philosophical."
"why do you wear plaid every day?"  
"wouldn't you like to know."
his breath acrid from years of smoking cheap bodega cigars.
and then I never asked him again.
mother and i visited my grandmother's old house
a couple summers ago;
my aunt lived there now,
we came over to help her remove wallpaper.
as i slashed the paper,
my heart sunk into my chest.
a pattern of overlaid black and red right-angled vertical and horizontal stripes;

buffalo plaid.

the same buffalo plaid
adorned on the man who had raised me for seven years straight.
as it was home to him,
 it was now home to me.
it always had been.
decades ago,
a somewhat strange high school boy,
the oldest of eight,
dropped out to work for his family,
abandoning his dreams.
a high school boy dreams of buffalo plaid walls and
all that could be.

This poem is about: 
My family


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