Stones Fall from the Sky

by Sherry Rind


Surely one of the more surprising observations in the natural world is that stones can fall from the sky. 

~Introduction to Astronomy


Ten thousand tons each year.

One wobble off course or an accidental congruence

of gravitational fields and

down they go

to be zapped like bugs in our trap

of nitrogen and oxygen.

Most burn away and miss our heads

as we schlep groceries to the car or take out the garbage,

another day overcoming

the randomness of the universe.


Space garbage, like our cells,

carries the strands of its origins,

the primary mess

of dust that spun into our star,

tossing off the leftover lumps

of Earth and Jupiter and meteorites,

some of which hide among the garden rocks

disguised as granite or pocked, melted iron.


If you find a grain-sized rock on Antarctic ice

chances are it’s a meteorite

but in the ordinary way, it’s difficult

to know if a lump in the hand

is trash or rarity.


This perpetual litter has no end in our short sight,

a mass we apprehend no more

than the volume of garbage we toss

into oceans and heap in pits:

boats, cars, plastic rings encircling

the throats of birds, bottles, dishes, foam trays

smeared with fatty remains of supper.

Some of it breaks and reforms like meteorites

but never escapes our gravity, carrying the stories

of our little eruptions

and the long fall through time.


About the Author

Sherry Rind is the author of four out-of-print collections of poetry and editor of two books about Airedale terriers. She has received awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Anhinga Press, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission, and King County Arts Commission. Her poems have appeared recently in Cloudbank, Marathon Literary Review, Crosswinds, Weatherbeaten, and Shark Reef Review.

A photograph of a shooting star. Public domain