The Journey Home

I remember the birds. Hundreds, maybe thousands, all moving south as winter approaches. The air is cool and the sky slate. Their discordant songs take you back the HEB on Military Drive in San Antonio. Whataburger. You're childhood, back when your grandparents lived on some street nearby. The Harlandale school district. Mom would take you there to visit. You'd wait in the tree by the bird fountain for the sight of her car driving up to the gate. The driveway was covered in those pretty white rocks that had flecks of quartz that glittered in the sun. You always took some back home with you. Back home. Home. It's somewhere else now, across the ocean. And yet the song of the birds here in Iraq

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