Hand Grenade Bag

Henri Cole on

Published in Poem Of The Day

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



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