15 years since 9/11

In 2007, just 6 years after 9/11, my step-son decided to join the Canadian Armed Forces.  He was just 18, and had been living with us the last 6 months before deciding to leave, early in November, for basic training.  The ‘war’ on terrorism was in full swing.

Watching documentaries today on the anniversary of 9/11 brings it all back to me, like it was yesterday.  Not just that day in 2001, but the day, 6 years later, when we said goodbye to our 18 year old kid for an undermined period of time.  We were ‘loaning’ him out to the Canadian Military, and all we could hope for was to get him back at some point.


On Loan


There’s already dust on your computer screen.

Your room is so silent, I guess

because for the first time in months the computer is turned off.

I keep coming into your room, I guess

because now I can.

For so long the door was always closed.  It was

your space, on loan to you while you lived here.


When I walk down the hall, I see your open door.  I still

think of it as your door, your room.

It’s clean and it stays clean.  All your stuff,

the stuff you left behind, is put away,

and no one touches it.

Your laundry is done. I did it all.

I am surprised at how many clothes you left

here.  All those t-shirts you wore

so often, I thought you loved them.


I don’t know when you’ll be back, if ever, so I guess

this means you’ve really moved out.

I have had to learn all these new acronyms.  CFB stands for

Canadian Forces Base.  BMQ stands for Basic Military Qualifications.

I haven’t learned how to spell “Afghanistan” by heart, instead

I look it up on the poster

on the wall in your room every time.


Before you left, I wanted control of your room, to clean it, I guess

because it is part of my house. It drove me nuts

to see your clothes all over the floor,

dirty laundry, dishes, crumpled bedding,

because I couldn’t do anything about it. Now,

I have complete dominion over your space, and I guess

that’s why I keep coming in here.

Because now I can.

And it’s so quiet,

I can hear the dust gathering.


—Kiera Polzin



1 Comment

Filed under Writing

One response to “15 years since 9/11

  1. Just wanted to thank you for sharing this. For some reason the system won’t let me share or comment right now! Hugs! K

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