War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

it's time now

but yet the body is his book Seamus Heaney

“it’s time now to write of love, love” she said,
“you’ve done your time” and I have
marked the sentry of the dead in small moleskines,
black hardbacks, hand-sewn, nestled into ruck
stuffed into frag vest, a down jacket pocket on Ex
tiny note books that dozed like the infantrymen around me,
until I reached for my black fountain pen (is there any other?)
ink bruises on my cold hand in the back of a LAV;
I was always smallest, always assigned the spot 3/4s up
crushed against the turret cage;
sleeping bags, rations, the boys’ kit entombed me,
I hung on tight in case we rolled as we rolled
over the capricious prairie;
and seven boy-men told jokes and slept
drank gator-ade, popped candy and anti-imflammatories,
kitted up in 30 kilos of gear, ballistics, the boys looked at me sideways
their weapons ready for anything
their orders,“don’t let anything happen to her”
all the while, the radio net
“this is four 9er Charlie, four 9er Charlie”
and the complain of the LAV’s diesel engine
whining twenty-four hours revved for war,
all I could see of the LAV commander, his gunner,
were their CADPAT legs.

four months after that, Afghanistan,
I counted the dead, and the partially dead,
some of me MIA among them.

later, much later, kisses fell
like petals of a thousand opium poppies on Remembrance Day—
they fell then like first snowfall
fresh, a remembered cleanliness, a remembered
soft forgetfulness,
downy white, they fell light out of winter’s dark
the advent against my shoulders, my neck, my back, my face, bare,
the old story of love out of war
so predictable,
so unexpected.

1 Comment (Closed)


So deserving when hearts are among the living dead. Too many casualties not spoken of.

Nov 23 2010 · 12:14

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled it's time now. It was posted here on November 23, 2010.


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