War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

desert diver

news just in that Canada has lost a desert diver, Petty Officer 2nd Class, Craig Blake

a lifetime drawn to deep water, the test of current. stamina calculated and pressurized. forests of kelp. all amber and undulation. what compelled him to leave the cool green underworld, the sea shelves of Canada, abundant with peace, abundant with creatures, star fish, rock cod—their eyes bulging curiosity—, octopi, green phosphorescence on night dives. what compelled him to pack kit, leave family, take the desert dive?

I didn’t know him, but I knew one of the brothers. P, desert diver. I saw him last November outside the wire, he’d just come in from his first sweep. we sat in the shade laughing, crying. “we’re crazy” he said, “but I love it, I love it. adrenaline. putting my training to test. knowing tonight when I go back to base there’ll be maybe 30 more people alive. some kid will keep his arms, her legs. my first job, an old-fashioned bayonet trick. what a rush.”

a few months later P sent me an email. checking in. and a link to a video of him wearing a “diving suit” defusing something big on a dusty road somewhere hot and dirty. I wrote back, don’t show your wife. that’s too much information for the home front. come home safe.

the news just in says this desert diver, PO 2nd Class Blake, had just completed his task. his 2nd week in country. he was heading back to base. killed in a blast.

About This Page

The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled desert diver. It was posted here on May 04, 2010.


Complete diary archive