to the small poem and the quiet voice within

sparrow | my father was a snowman


My father was a snowman, but he melted.

All that’s left is his eyes—two pieces of coal—
that sit on my kitchen table
and watch me as I walk around the room.

I ate his big nose a long time ago.


[from, THE NEW YORKER, March 13, 1995]


  1. Patt Clark

    Appreciated the Sparrow haiku-like his quote, “Bumper stickers are the haiku of the American highway.” I am preparing a presentation of Roberta Beary’s poetry so I found this helpful.

  2. Kris Thacher

    and that delicious mouth too!

  3. David Dix

    coal black eyes
    this poem reminds me
    how much I love

    v. Z.

  4. jean

    From the welter of these I’ve read over the years and either not understood or cared about, THIS is a gem! An absolute jewel of possibilities, stories beyond stories. Thank you.

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