War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

20th anniversary of Bosnian War

I’ve met many, many Canadian vets who deployed as peacekeepers in Bosnia. one of them has become a good friend and a great support to me in my work. this poem is about the terrible work he had to so after Srebenica. I read it once to an audience and a young woman came up afterwards and said to me, “my mom got me out of Bosnia when I was 4 and into a refugee camp in Australia. those little bones could have been me…”
my friend is still haunted by those little bones. I’m haunted by his story.

Little Bones

for WO (ret’d) P Q, Peacekeeper, Bosnia

There are no bones in these poems.
they are spineless
Spineless as children’s ribs
Children’s ribs
that crack like twigs
Twigs under his soldier boots
the spring he surveys the forests.
He surveys the forests
of Bosnia
Bosnia, 1995
Exhumes, tallies
Exhumes, tallies, records
little ribs,
Little spineless ribs,
that crunch underfoot,
Little ribs scattered in the forest—
dry twigs for nests;
Nests for little birds scattered,
in the forests of Bosnia;
In forests of Bosnia,
little birds, little ribs, scattered;
Scatter little birds, scatter little ribs
little twigs of the forest
The forest that hides
Spineless nests;
nests of the mothers, their children
fly mothers, fly children
spineless, this forest is spineless,
as mass graves.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled 20th anniversary of Bosnian War. It was posted here on April 05, 2012.


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