War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Grief, November, Again

you grieve too hard he said,
zero’d his ice-axe straight into my heart, my head;
(these are words of the half-dead surely,
for not to hard grieve the 26 year old gone,

impossible).

our family’s body will never mend—
we lost her at sea, her spot at the Christmas table forever empty;
and November is our dreaded anniversary
when words and loss began calving our wholeness from us

like the Hubbard glacier in the Alaskan fjord
we broke sharp and harsh, cruelly
and none of us would ever sleep well again
great sheets of grief thunder our dark
it sounds like cannon, a 105 mm
across the wide Shilo prairie,

blue ice
into black black water,
the young should not die
out of turn.

and I learned to bear death
of soldiers maybe;
signed, resigned to the Afghan minefields,
boys I knew stepped into their call,

yes, I learned to bear almost all but Jon’s,
his hell, falling falling, so unspeakable I clenched my ears
when I watched his father on t.v.
tell of his terrible drowning in an Afghan well.
that water, black black as that which took my uncle, then a niece,

a horror of grief it sucks oxygen from me

and I’ll not sleep
‘til November ends
feel the death of the young,
the drowning death of us

over and over
again.


1 Comment (Closed)

Anne Snyder

This is heart-wrenching, nay, gut-wrenching stuff…Thanks so much for writing. How fortunate we are to have such a sensitive, honest and brave poet laureate. Not long until the end of November.

Nov 21 2010 · 19:41

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Grief, November, Again. It was posted here on November 20, 2010.

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