Cycnos | Volume 21 n°2 Les Etats-Unis et la guerre. Les Etats-Unis en guerre - 

William D. Ehrhart  : 

Guns

Texte intégral

Again we pass that field
green artillery piece squatting
by the Legion Post on Chelten Avenue,
its ugly little pointed snout
ranged against my daughter's school.

"Did you ever use a gun
like that?" my daughter asks,
and I say, "No, but others did.
I used a smaller gun. A rifle."
She knows I've been to war.

"That's dumb," she says,
and I say, "Yes," and nod
because it was, and nod again
because she doesn't know.
How do you tell a four-year-old

what steel can do to flesh?
How vivid do you dare to get?
How explain a world where men
kill other men deliberately
and call it love of country?

Just eighteen, I killed
a ten-year-old. I didn't know.
he spins across the marketplace
all shattered chest, all eyes and arms.
Do I tell her that? Not yet,

though one day I will have
no choice except to tell her
or to send her into the world
wide-eyed and ignorant.
The boy spins across the years

till he lands in a heap
in another war in another place
where yet another generation
is rudely about to discover
what their fathers never told them.

[Reprinted from Beautiful Wreckage: New & Selected Poems by W. D. Ehrhart, Adastra Press, 1999, by permission of the author.]

Image1

Custer's Last Fight, Engraving by A. R. Waud, (1886 ?)

Image2

Alfred Waud's, Pen & Ink, (1886 ?)

Pour citer cet article

William D. Ehrhart, « Guns », paru dans Cycnos, Volume 21 n°2, mis en ligne le 13 octobre 2006, URL : http://revel.unice.fr/cycnos/index.html?id=350.


Auteurs

William D. Ehrhart

Journaliste, écrivain, poète