A Poem by Dorothee Sölle: hospital in haiphong

doan is three years old
in his head a fragment
of that handy bomb
that leaves buildings undamaged
never puts a factory out of production
doesn’t even harm bridges

doan is three years old
in that handy bomb
are millions of tiny fragments
just for doan
meant for his feet
designed for liver and lung

doan is three years old
his mother is gone
the president of the united dead
sent her an invitation
to a high standard of living and a lasting peace
he sent a handy bomb

doan can’t write yet
so i’m writing this letter
to the workers in st paul minnesota
asking if they couldn’t make
a toy boat out of plastic
instead of bombs because
doan is only three years old

Revolutionary Patience
Trans. Rita and Robert Kimber

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