War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Thanksgiving

so somewhere outside the wire as I write, there are a bunch of guys sweating, wiping dust from their eyes. maybe they haven’t slept for a few days, maybe they haven’t had too much time or will to eat. their clothes are stiff with the salt of their sweat. they stink, but they don’t smell it anymore. they’re nerved up from days of being wired for sound on their radio nets, from LAV doors slamming shut, the grind of metal. maybe it’s windy. maybe packs of wild dogs scatter as the guys foot their way through a mud-wall village. long line it. eyes left right up down side-to-side. beware the absence of normal, the presence of the abnormal the voice in their head when they see a pile of leaves, garbage, a mound of dirt on the road.

maybe the village will be empty. ghost-town. the women and children cleared out days before. maybe the village is a trap. maybe not.

maybe they know it’s thanksgiving here at home. that the leaves are turning. gorgeous. the colour of Shiraz and amber. that the onions are being chopped. the dressing made. the cranberries strung. that the best dishes are being brought out. that their names will be said. silently. and aloud.

maybe they’ll think about next thanksgiving when they’ll be home and Afghanistan will just be a twitch in their body.

maybe not.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Thanksgiving. It was posted here on October 14, 2008.

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