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Sidewalk Cracks, a poem by Norbert Krapf




Sidewalk Cracks

The boy who didn’t

want to step on cracks

in the sidewalk

played a brilliant organ

and the big company

in the small town

hired him to show

how beautiful their

organs could sound.

His fingers had the touch

to make those organs sing

but the sidewalks had

so many cracks he

could not keep up

with his job of stepping

over all of them. He had

nightmares about what

would happen if he

stepped on a crack.

In his recurring dreams

he saw so many

cracks coming at him

that eventually his fingers

stiffened and he could no

longer make the organ

sing. Sadness froze

across his face. He lost 

his job with the company

and one day he disappeared            

into a crack that opened

so wide he could not

step over it. Nobody

knows where he is.



Norbert Krapf, a former Indiana Poet Laureate, has published fourteen collections, the latest being Indiana Hill Country Poems and Southwest by Midwest. His collection Spirit Sister Dance will appear in 2022, as will his prose memoir Homecomings: A Writer's Memoir.  For more information  please see