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Iris Erlingsdottir Headshot

"Accidental Shooting in Palestine"

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By Icelandic Poet Kristjan Einarsson fra Djupalaek (1916-1994)

From In the Vineyard, a collection of poems (1966)


Little girl. Little girl.
Little dark eyed dark haired girl
lies shot.
Dark red blood in wavy hair.
Skull broken.

I'm a Brit, the day's daring
soldier, south in Palestine,
but at night alone, sad,
just a boy, mama's little lad.

My sin is great. Oh my sister.
I swear, it was an accident.
Like a dagger it cut the heart,
my heart, oh, my sister,
forgive me, forgive me, so sad,
my child, my child.

I meant to shoot your dad.