War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

road trips

summer leave, the mosquito men buzz highways. thrum their Harleys, BMWs, crotch rockets, each man his own brand. just like cigars or chew or women.

they run war out of themselves. something in the snake road through the Kootenays. the trees. the green rivers. the bears crossing. mountain goats. they lose the sense of target with the wind in their face. they lose the need to hunt.

the country is a geography of their dead. they know exactly where Pte. M’s parents are spending the summer. Sgt. F’s. no recce they pull in unannounced. the door opens to the boys. always. each shake of the hand. each hug. a son’s.

two mothers of the fallen said to me, “thank you for knowing my son”. we help keep them alive. even little stories such as mine.

on my desktop LAV 41C. Johnny and his smiling boys at Suffield. after live fire. filthy blackface. happier then pigs in shit at the hail and lousy conditions. they’re all there alive and well. whole. ready. at the far right, Pte. MacKay, Mickey, grinning along with the rest of them. arms draped over each other. standing in front of their LAV.

I look at this picture every time I turn on my computer. it helps me to remember what I need to write. why I need to write.

I had an email the other day saying one of the boys had buzzed into my little village on the Pacific. showed up at the only cafe asking for me. a few phone calls by the cafe owner to a mutual friend told the young soldier I was out of town. he left his number. I’m going to call him as soon as I can. glad to know they’ve not forgotten me as I shall not forget them. ever.

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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled road trips. It was posted here on July 15, 2010.


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