Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Eva Gerlach

1. SHEET

With everyone dead, I started here on my own
with my ak-47 my brother of steel,

no one comes to wash and comb me and I don’t fetch wood
for anyone here, everything comes from the soldiers

who are fond of me because I bring them luck and
am good at chucking grenades.

In front of us lies the town where nobody lives
and I look down, fix my brother’s gaze on the roofs, 

then we keep watch, first of all on the house of my uncle
who strung himself up because he could only still talk to the dead. 

My brother is as big as me but I hold him securely
on my shoulder where he can sleep 

and my uncle’s window is open, a sheet billows out
on the balcony and there’s no wind and no one is hanging 

washing on the line there, so I shoot and
it falls to the ground. It doesn’t look like a sheet.

1. LAKEN

1. LAKEN

Toen iedereen dood was begon ik hier voor mezelf
met mijn ak-47 mijn broertje van staal,

niemand komt me hier wassen en kammen en ik haal voor niemand
meer hout, alles komt van de soldaten 

die van me houden omdat ik geluk breng en goed
kan mikken met de granaten. 

Daar voor ons ligt de stad waar niemand meer woont
en ik kijk van hoog, stel mijn broertjes oog af op de daken, 

dan lopen we wacht, allereerst naar het huis van mijn oom
die zich ophing omdat hij alleen nog met doden kon praten. 

Mijn broer is zo groot als ik maar ik hou hem goed vast
op mijn schouder waar hij kan slapen 

en het raam van mijn oom staat open, op het balkon
bolt een laken op en het waait niet en niemand daar hangt 

was aan de lijn, dus ik schiet en
het valt op de grond, het ziet er niet uit als een laken.

Close

1. SHEET

With everyone dead, I started here on my own
with my ak-47 my brother of steel,

no one comes to wash and comb me and I don’t fetch wood
for anyone here, everything comes from the soldiers

who are fond of me because I bring them luck and
am good at chucking grenades.

In front of us lies the town where nobody lives
and I look down, fix my brother’s gaze on the roofs, 

then we keep watch, first of all on the house of my uncle
who strung himself up because he could only still talk to the dead. 

My brother is as big as me but I hold him securely
on my shoulder where he can sleep 

and my uncle’s window is open, a sheet billows out
on the balcony and there’s no wind and no one is hanging 

washing on the line there, so I shoot and
it falls to the ground. It doesn’t look like a sheet.

1. SHEET

With everyone dead, I started here on my own
with my ak-47 my brother of steel,

no one comes to wash and comb me and I don’t fetch wood
for anyone here, everything comes from the soldiers

who are fond of me because I bring them luck and
am good at chucking grenades.

In front of us lies the town where nobody lives
and I look down, fix my brother’s gaze on the roofs, 

then we keep watch, first of all on the house of my uncle
who strung himself up because he could only still talk to the dead. 

My brother is as big as me but I hold him securely
on my shoulder where he can sleep 

and my uncle’s window is open, a sheet billows out
on the balcony and there’s no wind and no one is hanging 

washing on the line there, so I shoot and
it falls to the ground. It doesn’t look like a sheet.

Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère