Fritz Ward

But You Could Ignore The Sky

Listen To This Poem
East of Alberta, there's a bridge designated
for the jumpers. Death Guaranteed,
the sign says, Science and Efficiency.

My father liked to say, You can't 
ignore the gravity of a situation. 
And he said it slowly, making it last.

I loved him best when he got it wrong:
when the seven horses stumbled, when the butterfly
knife fluttered with blood, when the night refused

its endings. On the bridge, no one gets it wrong.
You empty your pockets of change—for a penny
is a head wound from heaven at such heights—

and you sign the name your mother gave you
when you left her flood.
And then you wait your turn.

Wendy XuFritz Ward's poems have appeared in more than sixty publications, including American Letters & Commentary, Another Chicago Magazine, Blackbird, and Hotel Amerika. He is a recipient of the Cecil Hemley Memorial Prize from the Poetry Society of America, and was included in Best New Poets 2007 (University of Virginia Press, 2007). His manuscript, Let Her, was recently a semi-finalist for the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Prize. His chapbook, Doppelganged, is forthcoming from Blue Hour Press. He currently lives in Philadelphia and works at Swarthmore College.