War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

letters

I get them. every single day. sometimes from friends here. sometimes from over there.

and from over there. antsy. tired. elation. sick. humourous. the spectrum.

today, a letter from T-man. always a good thing. always a laugh. checking in. “wondering how things are going for you. I’ve got X days left. time to grab a suntan.” and I can only imagine how his wife and kids are feeling. each day must seem endless. except I’m thinking T’s wife is pretty damned independent and able to handle this. and he’s always full of praise for her and his “peeps”.

T-man says his picture’s in the paper. I google and see him in his PPE yacking through a terp with village elders about the lake that’s grown around their village after the rains. and soon it’s mosquito and malaria season. and the Canadian engineers are trying to figure out how to fix the problem and stay out of danger at the same time.

and it’s fun seeing T-man in situ because for once I know where he is and what he’s doing because these men and women are well-trained and spill no secrets to me or anyone else.

people ask me what I’m going to do with this “notebook” when I’m done. (and I’m done in mid-June 2010). a couple of books. a play. readings. presentations. how many war artists get to watch a Battalion prepare for war and then get to see the Battalion in theatre? I’ve been so lucky to hang with the Battle Group, the OMLT, the PRT, CIMIC, the MPs, the Padres, the EMEs… so lucky that they’ve let me get to know them a little bit.

this summer after I stop my notebook and start my real writing, I’m wondering what it will feel like to have the past 2 years run through me again. a river of intense good, intense sorrow and pain. and I’m wondering if I’ll ever hear from those ones from over there, like the T-man, again.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled letters. It was posted here on March 28, 2010.

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