when i was II i saw
‘Kilroy was here’
on the shattered walls
on overthrown columns
on bar tables in the gents
the yanks wrote it
all over the place

when i was II my sisters
wore red skirts
the white circle with the cross
broken in four places
had been unpicked by my mother
& personally burnt
for Kilroy was here

when i was II the war
was over & ‘Hitler kaputt’
as were the houses the windows the jews
& germany (whatever that was)
now Kilroy had arrived
taught us basketball
& spearmint & cocacola

when i was II i learned
such words from Kilroy as fairness
& democracy
expressions like no more war
he showed me how to jitterbug
& read Shakespeares sonnets even
with a brooklyn accent

als ich II war stand
‘Kilroy is here’
auf den geborstenen mauern
auf gestürzten säulen
auf kneipentischen in klos
die amis schrieben
es überall hin