Daniel Bourne

Other Boys

(Watching The Thin Red Line with Piotr

and Adam on Podleśna Street, Gdańsk)



The boys from one country watch boys

from another country die. Through

the miracle of television, all

stories are possible. The boys crawl through

the green grass, tops blown off, the deaths both quick

and with long speeches. Take the high hill,

screams Nick Nolte as one boy

nears the screen, then presses his fingertips,

the sun going down at just the wrong time

for him to catch the small, abrupt movement

of a figure from the left, a murky

shadow, the angel of his death, or just

his mother coming with tea, that planet

he knows is out there—where the grass is cut down

for soccer.

Daniel Bourne’s books include The Household Gods (Cleveland State) and Where No One Spoke the Language (Custom Words). Besides Innisfree Poetry Journal, his poems have also been in such journals as Ploughshares, Field, American Poetry Review, Boulevard, Guernica, Salmagundi, Pleiades, Shenandoah, Prairie Schooner, Plume, The Yale Review, Cimarron Review, Poetry Northwest, and Michigan Quarterly Review. He was born near Wynoose, Illinois, to a farming family. Until he retired in May 2020, he taught in the English Department and in the Environmental Studies program at the College of Wooster. He is also the founding editor of Artful Dodge. Since 1980 he has also lived in Poland, including 1985-87 on a Fulbright for the translation of younger Polish poets and in 2018 and 2019 for more translation work on an anthology of Polish poets of the Baltic Coast. In the U.S. the translations have appeared widely, including in Field, Colorado Review, Partisan Review, Plume, Boulevard, and Salmagundi.

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