War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

incoming (from May Day)

Another installment of May Day, a fictional series of letters from a young woman to her lover who is serving as a Warrant Officer in Afghanistan. For a backgrounder on the project, click on the May Day icon at the right, or listen to the audio broadcast, Writing May Day


J says, “worst thing for soldier in the desert with too much time to think, or after it’s tense on patrol, the stroll down ambush alley, is email (digital stream slow as camel’s piss out in the FOBs) from his woman…

‘I need to think about things before you come home.’

and maybe soldier knows. suspects. sniffs all her emails like FOB bomb dogs pawing, wagging at everything suspicious or not. and soldier hunts for IEDs of infidelities. imagined or not.

“she’s sleeping with somebody, she’s sleeping with somebody. I know she’s sleeping with somebody. who. who. who?” infiltrates like Afghan talcum powder dust between toes and socks.

and J says soldier rattled by incoming from home isn’t who you want for fire partner out on patrol. his mind tick tocking, whirring like an off-centre clock about his woman, instead of hadji in the grape hut. or the guy 100 metres ahead of convoy fingering his cellphone.”

so listen M. I want you to stick to the job you’ve got. keep your eyes, your ears open. for what’s on the ground, in the air around you right now. be alert.
rest assured. there’ll be no incoming rockets of rage. no RPGs of deceit. coming at you. ever.
from me.

I promise.
take care,


1 Comment (Closed)

Douglas Hill

I really like “incoming from home”—that is so powerful!

Sep 11 2009 · 10:40

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled incoming (from May Day). It was posted here on September 10, 2009.


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