etched in steel(e) Dr. Suzanne M. Steele — editor analyst writer researcher

MonthDecember 2023

Lazarus #15

We were war crazy Lazarus,
the eve we slipped under your duvet & HBC blanket;

the long Winter Solstice night of angel choirs
who sang à l’Église de Saint Albert,

“Oh Holy Night” after

cornmeal snow swish-chh’ed swish-chh’ed

every click clack of our old-school snowshoes beside the frozen lake,

where we’d hiked, made tracks across Elk Island —

pregnant that first winter with something possible.

Under wolf-watch:
you’d brewed espresso, soldier capable (I remember pix

of your high Arctic trek with the Northern Rangers)

we ate fat green grapes, squares of dark chocolate, good bread, good cheese,
laid traps for joy in the icy wake we’d made all day.

Angels of the Snows, then looked up, look up, and up

saw Corbeau!

Circle black wings fresh winter’s sky, clear-eyed

blackbird crawked: “That k… k…. k… officer lost

in the desert last year, Andrew,

Lieutenant Nuttall, one year dead,

Well, k…k….k… he’s okay!”

and so we libated the snows with Jura Superstition,

“To Andrew!” and kissed.

Wolves blinked cool amber that Solstice,

Ancestors’ night-vision-green/sparkly fingertips

stretched the winter skies taught, aurora borealis

looked down upon us, “Love,” they said,

“Blessed be you who survive war”

then put us to bed.

In my arms you slept drugged deep,

I wrapped you so damned tight after war,

at midnight, opened your bedroom window just a crack

I heard them, all of them, especially the dead,