Blasting from Heaven
The little girl won’t eat her sandwich;
she lifts the bun and looks in, but the grey beef
coated with relish is always there.
Her mother says, “Do it for mother.”
Milk and relish and a hard bun that comes off
like a hat—a kid’s life is a cinch.
And a mother’s life? “What can you do
with a man like that?” she asks the sleeping cook
and then the old Negro who won’t sit.
“He’s been out all night trying to get it.
I hope he gets it. What did he ever do
but get it?” The Negro doesn’t look,
though he looks like he’s been out all night
trying. Everyone’s been out all night trying.
Why else would we be drinking beer
at attention? If she were younger,
or if I were Prince Valiant, I would say that fate
brought me here to quiet the crying,
to sweeten the sandwich of the child,
to waken the cook, to stop the Negro from
bearing witness to the world. The dawn
still hasn’t come, and now we hear
the 8 o’clock whistles blasting from heaven,
and with no morning the day is sold.
Philip Levine's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Blasting from Heaven by Philip Levine )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
- Key to My Heart, Whitney Brown
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- Merry Christmas Dad, David Boyce
Poem of the Day
- Until Next Time, Jennifer Colyne Hall
- Unity and strength., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- That shall keep, hasmukh amathalal
- Change the scene, hasmukh amathalal
- To Whom It May Concern, Dorothy (Alves) Holmes
- Unsuitable, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- People of Pernambuco 2, Kim Barney
- Strange Foods: Oatmeal Omelet, Kim Barney
- Not a Real Poem 2, Kim Barney
- A Christmas with Simplicity, Akhtar Jawad