Sharon Olds

(November 19, 1942 / San Francisco)

I Could Not Tell


I could not tell I had jumped off that bus,
that bus in motion, with my child in my arms,
because I did not know it. I believed my own story:
I had fallen, or the bus had started up
when I had one foot in the air.

I would not remember the tightening of my jaw,
the irk that I’d missed my stop, the step out
into the air, the clear child
gazing about her in the air as I plunged
to one knee on the street, scraped it, twisted it,
the bus skidding to a stop, the driver
jumping out, my daughter laughing
Do it again.

I have never done it
again, I have been very careful.
I have kept an eye on that nice young mother
who lightly leapt
off the moving vehicle
onto the stopped street, her life
in her hands, her life’s life in her hands.

Submitted: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Edited: Saturday, November 19, 2011

Do you like this poem?
3 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (I Could Not Tell by Sharon Olds )

  • Rookie - 37 Points Colleen Courtney (5/15/2014 10:32:00 AM)

    Nice poem. Glad she decided to give herself an her innocent one a second chance at living. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,650 Points Dave Walker (11/19/2011 3:30:00 AM)

    Great poem again. Take a look at my poem called,
    Family of lies. I think you'll like this one. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If, Rudyard Kipling
  8. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  9. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]