Published on Academy of American Poets (

Poem for Beachheads & Briars


Awoken by the immaculate flaw
in my bed. Quietude, hollowed

limbs through which the breeze
still moves. Despite molecules

I’ve come to intuit wavelengths,
how Made in America illustrates

that most blown, charitable days
revolve this walk swept of sand.

Smashed & believing whichever
whim as promise, routed clouds,

scenes becoming then breached.
How I wish to bear the purpose

of men carrying a ladder. Maybe
they rescue the wayfared kitten

or cart the rungs for the woods,
heaved & fetched until each stays.


Copyright © 2015 by Michael Robins. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 14, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“This poem combines failure (plus failure to find closure in that failure), hope, and the moment in which, from my seat on an ‘L’ train in Chicago, I glimpsed a ladder abandoned on the roof of a garage. An early version was titled ‘Ladder Accidents Climb,’ a newspaper headline that ultimately proved too humorous for the overall mood of the poem.”
Michael Robins


Michael Robins

Michael Robins is the author of In Memory of Brilliance & Value (Saturnalia Books, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.  

Date Published: 2015-07-14

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