Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


On the Sparrow: No Blame

 When I worked in the steel mill
the ceiling crane dropped a bolt
at my feet          the way the cat
leaves his catch on the doorstep
for me        to step over it
a bolt thick as a sparrow:
the gift of it:              it didn't
easy as eggshell crack my skull.

Walking underneath the el's
same bridge superstructure
when i first arrived
in Chicago    this is what
I thought of          a falling bolt,
having to give up my cats
and not be mad if the whole 
thing falls off track aimed at me.

Buildings straight up from the street
tall slough off their "Falling Ice,"
stand-up sidewalk signs like it's nothing.
Buildings the sparrow's slam into,
fall from—    watched from the window desks—
mistaking light for the sky, land up here.
The cats probably have been
put to sleep by age by now. No blame.

Credit


Excerpted from To See the Earth Before the End of the World, (c) 2010 by Wesleyan University Press. Used with permission of the publisher.

Author


Ed Roberson

C.D. Wright has described Roberson's work as "lyric poetry of meticulous design and lasting emotional significance"

Date Published: 2010-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/sparrow-no-blame