This well-used little bag is just the right size
to carry a copy of the Psalms. Its plain-woven
flowers and helicopter share the sky with bombs
falling like turnips-he who makes light of other
men will be killed by a turnip. A bachelor,
I wear it across my shoulder-it's easier to be
a bachelor all my life than a widow for a day.
On the bag's face, two black shapes appear
to be crows-be guided by the crow and you
will come to a body-though they are
military aircraft. A man who needs fire
will soon enough hold it in his hands.
About This Poem "Over the past 30 years, hand grenades, tanks, fighter jets, missiles, helicopters and assault rifles have replaced traditional floral patterns in rug making and other textiles. Depicting these realities of war has helped the Afghan people to survive during times of conflict." -Henri Cole
About Henri Cole Henri Cole is the author of "Touch" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011). He teaches at Ohio State University in Columbus and lives in Boston part-time.
*** The Academy of American Poets is a nonprofit, mission-driven organization, whose aim is to make poetry available to a wider audience. Email The Academy at poem-a-day[at]poets.org.
(c) 2014 Henri Cole. Distributed by King Features Syndicate