Christina A. Sharik

TAKING STOCK

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: October 19, 2005
Awarded: October 19, 2005

I have heard it said
That the eyes are the mirrors of the soul.

I think that’s true.
You can tell if a person is wounded or whole.


Christina: 6 weeks old

When I was 6 weeks old,
My smile was crooked,
And I looked soft, and new…

Christina: 6 years old

When I was 6
All things were possible –
And heartache was not
Something that I knew.

Christina: 18 years old

At 18,
I was not yet aware
That I would not become a nurse.
My smile is wide
My face is open, And unafraid.
My mistakes were, as yet, unmade.


Christina: 21 years old

At 21, my photograph
Filled me with pride.
I was about to become his bride.

Christina: 26 years old

By 26,
I had waited for my husband to come home
From war;
Only to be divorced before our son was four.
I raised my son alone.
I notice that the light in my eyes is dim
Whereas before, they shone.

Someone said:
I have never seen eyes so sad.
He didn’t mean to make me feel so bad.

Christina: 30 years old

By 30,
I was way past the divorce,
Happy again,
Dancing my way from New Jersey to New York,
Disco-dancing thru milling crowds of men.

Christina: 33 years old

At 33,
I think I look my best.
I laugh and work, dance, raise my son,
And wonder where his babyhood went.
I am content.

Christina: 39 years old

By 39,
my son has made me “The Army Mom”.
The eyes seem accepting
And oddly calm.

Christina: 53 years old

At 53,
all is well with my world.
I’ve been remarried for 13 years.
I’m a happy girl.

Christina: 56 years old

When I was 56,
he said he wanted out.
We’d been married 16 years.

It squeezed my heart
and nearly crushed me;
I cried a million tears.

And as late as just last year
I think I still felt grief……

I look so sad, and tired.
It’s hard work trying to look happy
when you are mired
in disbelief.

Christina: 57 years old

At 57,
having been dealt the second blow
my face is smiling
but my eyes say “no”


Christina: 58 years old

At 58,
I smile at Christmas.
My face is fuller
And I’m getting wrinkly……
But my eyes say I’m healing
And the smile is crinkly.

I have spent some time today
Looking into my eyes.

And the Reflections there
Give me no great surprise.

I have been happy and I have been sad.
I have been content and filled with deep despair.

I have loved my life
And the people in it.

As for peace,
I’m getting there.