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