Toys in a Field

Using the gun mounts
for monkey bars,
children skin the cat,
pulling themselves through,
suspended in doorways
of abandoned helicopters
in graveyards. With arms
spread-eagled they imitate
vultures landing in fields.
Their play is silent
as distant rain,
the volume turned down
on the 6 o’clock news,
except for the boy
with American eyes
who keeps singing
rat-a-tat-tat, hugging
a broken machine gun.


Yusef Komunyakaa, “Toys in a Field” from Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems. Copyright © 2001 by Yusef Komunyakaa. Reprinted with the permission of Wesleyan University Press.
Source: Pleasure Dome: New and Collected Poems (Wesleyan University Press, 2001)
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