The pony and the deer are trapped by tanks,
and the lady with the guitar is sad beyond words.
Hurtling across the sky, a missile has mistaken
a vehicle for a helicopter, exploding in a ball
of white flame. Upside-down birds—red specks
of knotted wool—glow above the sideways trees.
Hidden among plants, a barefooted boy waits—
like the divine coroner—aiming his rifle at something,
enjoying the attentions of a gray doggy, or maybe
there’s a bullet already in his head.
About this Poem
"Over the past thirty 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 survive during times of conflict."
Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1956 and raised in
Date Published: 2013-10-29
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/war-rug