Steve Brightman

On the Day in Which My Ligaments Crumble with Grief for My Brother

Self Seer or Death and Man by Egon Schiele

A sparrow
has frozen overnight
and fallen from a tree,
its spindled ankles
encased in ice;
stuck to the asphalt
in my driveway.
And the sparrow,
as you’ve probably
surmised, is an inelegant
metaphor for my brother,
is an even more inelegant
metaphor for America,
& they all three tumble,
flightless, through my head
while my windows defrost.
My brother is a sparrow.
This sparrow is America.
My brother is America
and they are all dying
while I warm my feet
this December.


About the writer:
Steve Brightman lives in Akron, Ohio, with his wife and their green parrot. Steve firmly believes that there are only two seasons: winter and baseball.

Image: Self Seer or Death and Man by Egon Schiele (1890-1918). Oil on canvas. 80.5 x 80 cm. 1911. Public domain.