Inventory

Translated by Joshua Mehigan
This is my cap,   
this is my overcoat,   
here is my shave kit   
in its linen pouch.   

Some field rations:   
my dish, my tumbler,   
here in the tin-plate   
I’ve scratched my name.   

Scratched it here with this   
precious nail   
I keep concealed   
from coveting eyes.   

In the bread bag I have   
a pair of wool socks   
and a few things that I   
discuss with no one,   

and these form a pillow   
for my head at night.   
Some cardboard lies   
between me and the ground.   

The pencil’s the thing   
I love the most:   
By day it writes verses   
I make up at night.   

This is my notebook,   
this my rain gear,   
this is my towel,   
this is my twine.

More Poems by Günter Eich