Sparrow by Catherine Zickgraf

I know there’s nothing God can’t forgive,                   
as Bible-study ladies have told me for decades.  
In my mass of archives is a button box  
from each of my grandmothers, lost 
inside bins of files in dining room corners 
of the dream house he built for me.   
My mind broke ten months into the year 
my dear husband was stationed away in Seoul.   
I paced the floor for weeks with little sleep  
so I picked up weed again. By then I’d been ten  
years without it, busy birthing/nurturing my kids.  
I chose well once then didn’t rethink it.    
How I admire who I was before I opened doors 
to compromise what I once protected. 
I've been too long in spiritual crisis.  
thou art not, ought not—snap out of your sin. 
A dead soul rots through the skin. 
God, don’t leave me in this condition.   
The dog barks out my son’s window.  
Must be a stranger in her cul-de-sac.   
She growls low in a long hum  
that runs through our ductwork.   
Most days/nights I lie in bed under our fan.  
He says thick dust clings to its blades. 
I don’t see well, the swirling dirt doesn’t  
bother me—but he has allergies. I’m a jerk.  
I’m sorry I let our world go to shit. I’m dirty, sick.  
I can’t stand next to him.  
He deserves more than me. Don’t look at me.   
If I were the last sparrow of my species,  
I’d throw myself at the ocean. 
Photo by Pixabay on

About the Poet:

Catherine Zickgraf’s main jobs are to write poetry and fold laundry. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, PankVictorian Violet Press, and The Grief Diaries. Her chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press.  

Read and watch her at 

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