by Lisa Stice

Why do they say permanent?
It doesn’t hold steady,
but then neither do mountains
nor bridges nor brick houses
nor anything else.

They say, Go. Adapt.
Now we understand—
we’re permanently changed.
That can be counted on,
and we change often.

* PCS (Permanent Change of Station) refers to military orders requiring a change of duty location.

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Lisa Stice is a poet/mother/Marine Corps spouse who received a BA in English literature from Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University) and an MFA in creative writing and literary arts from the University of Alaska Anchorage. While it is difficult to say where home is, she currently lives in North Carolina with her husband, daughter and dog. She is the author of a poetry collection, Uniform (Aldrich Press, 2016). You can find out more about her and her publications at lisastice.wordpress.com and facebook.com/LisaSticePoet.

She writes, “I wrote "Distance" and "PCS" in response to the impact our most recent Permanent Change of Station had on our toddler daughter. She was two and going through so many developmental changes of her own, that uprooting her from familiar scenes, people, routine, and such sent her little world into a spin. Before she was born, we had made other cross-country moves under orders, but I felt helpless in helping my daughter cope with and make sense of all of the upheaval.”