Near the Old Packard Plant

posted Sep 7, 2010

This old man comes trolling past
the factory with its burnt yellow grass.

He’s pedaling his molecules
jumpity and in mourning

the windup key in his back.
The sun’s a counterfeit round

and should be shaped like a sickle
as God is a great head clopper.

Bless this beautiful brother
trolling in the center ring

where the whip cracks over his head,
and the circus strong man

blows a bubble so big and round
we call it the sky.

John Rybicki is the author of We Bed Down Into Water, and a contributor to The Best American Poetry 2009. His work has also appeared in Ploughshares, Bomb, Poetry, The North American Review, and others. He teaches at Alma College, changes tires part-time, and works for “Wings of Hope” Hospice teaching poetry writing to children who have been through a trauma or loss.

We’ve published eight more poems by Rybicki: “Smoke,” “Brother,” “Yellow-haired Girl with Spider,” “Julie Ovary Song,” “Two Movements for Martell Epperson,” “Night and its Strange Likeness to a Diego Rivera Mural,” “It's Morning and I'm Trying on the Walls,” and “Some Nights I Catch you Sleepwalk Waltzing.”