War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

quietly, quietly

his Pashto buttery as ghee,
soft as Afghan winter suns,
this one, quietly, quiet,
will not boast, will not brag,
that he can make a village laugh,
that children will be children,
jump, run, laugh,
surround him, ask for chocolate, pens,
when they see him strolling;
they know all about him,
the elders know all about him,
trade stories of him
the way they riff on poetry lines
in all-night Mushaeras,
they know of him
long before he arrives,
the Canadian who loves
their dusty land enough to speak
to them, to joke, tear naan with them,
take time to smoke a cigarette
with them, poke fun at himself,
the brothers (that’s in the bag).

one step, one step
third tour, he’s forgone
normal life—
the house, the dog, the wife—
endured years of fatigue,
he’s forgone it all,
given us a decade
saleem saleem alai’kum
and means it,
when he speaks “peace”
with no duplicity
(so skeptics don’t go there).

quit simply, this one
who walks, speaks in our name,
is one of our finest.

well done.

article on MCpl. S. Grove


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled quietly, quietly. It was posted here on April 17, 2010.

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