War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

what I did not expect

today, Suffield. the field. the rolling, beginning of the Cyprus hills. the pronghorns I saw first in spring 2009. before everything changed. gone. my old life. comfort.

I wore a shalwaar kameez, a veil. comforting. the gauzy cloth keeping the dirt, the gaze of others from my face. and cool in today’s 40 C heat. desert clothes are perfect for dry, hot prairie in August.

I saw a different army in play. different camo, different guns, but also the same. all soldiers are soldiers.

and these, young. so young. fresh out of battle school. their faces, soft under all that dirt, scissored my day.

because I saw him. one of the young ones I knew back in ’09. his face soft under all that dirt. alive. I saw him in all of their faces. the one I witnessed brought home. the piper piping Flowers of the Field. his mother. his father. his brother. we all brought him home.

then weariness settled like Suffield’s weird green dust. on me. and no amount of tears seem to be able to wipe it off.


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The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled what I did not expect. It was posted here on August 26, 2010.

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