War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

a year ago

a year ago we woke to frozen wash basins. little ice rinks at Suffield.

that was the beginning of the hardening. the death flags at sunrise. someone’s suicide. other’s, a last spring alive. (we all knew, statistically though odds against, it could be any one of us. we lived life accordingly).

6 months later I flew into KAF with next-of-kin. the Herc’s cargo of soldiers heading into country more silent than at a funeral. (at funerals they sometimes weep, their tanned necks bent forward, their rocking from one leg to the other, witness to A’stan)

the one sitting next to me on that flight held my hand so tight as we came in for our combat-landing I could feel our pulses through his leather gloves.

he leaned towards me, “write something so my kids will remember me if I don’t come home.” and I haven’t forgotten. I will.

and I think about him often. don’t know his name. only what the art on his arm says… only that his trade is nameless. his territory nameless. (though when I saw him next day at the Nov.11th ceremony, he winked, broke ranks with a tiny wave) and I saw him without helmet, ballistics, frag vest (his face fresh as a first fall of snow in northern Quebec).

we wear the lines of these years on our faces. come home changed. yet for those who had the real courage (to wait for us), we come home and deep down, we’re still the same. maybe even better.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled a year ago. It was posted here on April 29, 2010.

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