Volume 35, Number 2


The Thompson submachine gun cradled in
my father’s arms in that lost snapshot from
his training camp, I wonder where it’s been
and what it’s done. Swept silent through the drum
of cannon up to Omaha? Or, sold
as surplus, chattered on B-movie sets?
Was scrapped for parts? Or to this day grows old
in a forgotten storeroom? All fools’ bets.
The gun exists, now, only for that shot.
The photograph and it are lost in time.
At present I’m the only breath they’ve got,
and when it’s gone there’ll only be this rhyme.
Back from the war, Dad never owned a gun.
What for? he’d say. He had no need of one.

—Dan Campion