War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

first day of winter


I walked the field in dark, no light to guide me, just night vision of snow-shawled hill, the graze of Douglas fir, cedar, tall, black-caped against whited sky; the dogs unleashed wilded into winter dust, huge circles of bite and growl and yip, the half-wolf breaking free of orbit running straight, fast into the dark, running forever had the ocean not been there to stop her, running forever if the other tamer, pleaser dog, had not been there to reclaim her, lure her back to me with remnants of civility—the warm place beside the fire, the jar of biscuits, the rattle of the dish; the snow of the west does not crisp, no squeak or crunch beneath boots or sled, so rare, it whispers of other times—when I was young, when my child was new, or the winter the world stopped for a few weeks, paralysed by the strangeness of it, unprepared, or the terrible winter we lost our beloveds; I walked the field of dark, thought about the soldiers I have met this year, hundreds of them, wondered what scenes play out for them—are they within the circle of home, friends, are they able to be with their lives as never before, as the CO, the Padre, urged them to be, this last Christmas before Afghanistan—or do they, like me, walk the field in dark, no light to guide me, just night vision of snow-shawled hill, the graze of Douglas fir, cedar, standing tall, black-caped against whited sky, searching searching, for a single bright star.



2 Comments (Closed)

Rosalie dwyer Kent

I love the search for a single bright star
the history the landscape the people
and then a newsflash from my television
one canadian soldier killed
three wounded in advanced care hospital stable and in touch with family not yet a name for the soldier lost to loved ones

Dec 26 2008 · 11:29

Douglas Hill

“Snow-shawled hill”—lovely phrase.

Dec 29 2008 · 10:18

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled first day of winter. It was posted here on December 24, 2008.

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