War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Remembered






In fields of grape vine and hot dun dust,
Afghanistan,
her villages bricked mud,
her skies lapis lazuli,
crack under sun, TICs, stroll, the patrol,
combat—
where fear/courage/ fuses new definitions
of what it means to be a woman, a man.

Far from the lazy roses of summer,
the lake, the deck,
the two-four of red, white and blue
iced cold Canadian,
far from parade grounds of ambition,
infantryman wakes exhausted, again,
takes a piss, tucks boredom, loneliness,
nerve, his kismet, into jacket pockets,
slams down his last supper.

In fields of grape vine and blinding dust,
infantryman eyes to memory
the “shared deprivation” of the hours
—tedium, courage, fear, cold, thirst—
this is no camping trip;
he rolls a dip, slips it between teeth and lip,
checks radio net, his tack, his weapon, his ammo, ruck sack,
tightens his helmet strap,
falls into place,
night-goggles out into hot black
early Pashmul morning.

In fields of grape vine and moon-powder dust,
where pomegranates and poppies swell to bust
and walled villages are spider traps,
infantryman climbs to the rooftop
slowly, slowly, slow
one stair, one step, one stride,
to meet his bullet outside
outside the wire
halfway across the world from home,
halfway across the world
where bone-dogs bark and starving Mourgh cocks crow
and his brothers run to him carry him curse and weep
and wild camels bitch and bellow
in fields of hot dun dust
where mourning grape vines hang their heads
in rows and rows and rows and rows.


for Cpl. Anthony Bonica, Lake Superior Scottish Regiment
d. July, 2006, Panjawaii, Afghanistan


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Remembered. It was posted here on November 09, 2011.

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