War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

wadi (2)

late August. I ride my bike through the village. the little French village on the edge of the heart. the heart of this generous continent.

the smoke, BC’s forest fires, exhalation, the choked lungs of too much summer heat, lightening storm, the lit grass, the forest crackle. burn burn. the smoke screen. like a thousand thousand smoke grenades. is gone. now only that blue. no, not only. only will not do. it is the prairie

sky. blue as beloveds’ eyes.

how lovely. the hot wind. how lovely my bones, my body warmed young. on a bicycle. through the white grasses. the still green hills soft as breasts. the wide prairie, the belly. the river valley that place of beginning.

when I die, could it be sweetly in this valley, just to begin again. here?

the black horse has moved on. the irrigation ditch has drained into puddle. gone the bright green water my child and I dangled our July feet into. the flood gates are open.

the black horse has moved on. unlike its brother at the Arghandab. tethered forever in soldiers’ memories. the wadis slimed green. the child floating floating. facedown. some horrible dream soldier will carry to his grave.

her tiny dress waving waving. embroidered. mirrored. little celebration.


1 Comment (Closed)

Alex VanderWoude

Wow, really really good, these “Wadi” pieces. It’s poetry disguised as prose, and for some reason they really resonate with me. Perhaps it’s because when I was a kid I saw a young girl drown. She had skated onto the thin ice and fell through, and the other girl was screaming “My sister, my sister” while the men dove again and again to no avail. She made eye contact with me the last time she managed to grab some air and she looked so scared.

Aug 21 2010 · 21:20

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