War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

how can I hold you

for B

your girls draw soldiers’ heaven—no angel wings, ponies, fairies,
no singing choirs, no la la la, they crayon their father’s dead boys;

this year for them, there is little Spring, they cling
to the life raft of your body spent at night in your bed, unspoken space

of a last vacation, a beach, just in case, a last supper
(what was it, macaroni and cheese, sushi, or steak?);

they hang onto their father’s sat phone voice
familiar echo, weirdly strange, like a favourite video misplaced.

how can I hold you, you who holds him,
yourself, silent night into endless ticking, ticking,

this your long held breath, all so close to the end
of tour, yet so many left right left rights,

your breast bone a tourniquet tighter and tighter
every second he’s far, out in a desert, the sand,

the 41 Celcius, the stinking sweat, exhausted fear,
still on patrol and you’re left here still home but not at home,

waiting, waiting, waiting,
the dread of a 9 line, the midnight knock to the very end.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled how can I hold you. It was posted here on May 18, 2010.


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