Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,791 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Evening Of The Seventh Day - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Spiders with red scars crawl up the
Wall to the sadness of the church’s organ;
There is a leak in the corner molting the drywall,
The practitioners avoid it with their eyes.
The preacher’s wife leads the weeping in prayers,
And they move as somberly as though ghosts
Through the eye of a hurricane.

I wait outside with my red car idling,
Her lips on my mind, my hands on the ignition.
Snow flurries make flirtations with autumn.
There used to be Indians crouching on the windswept
Plains, now there are aluminum trailer parks,
And swaths of concrete which bleed into rivers.

Beneath the steeple, I say her name 7,000 times,
As some kind of offering,
Until the bats leave,
But I keep my money in my wallet,
Except when there is liquor. Then the planets swim
Unanswering even to the most fervent reverence,

Beneath them, the donkey has feverish dreams,
Its teeth showing as it is urged up the cryptic back of
The most wounded of canyons, laden with sacks of ravished
Gold; it sweats remembering the story grandfather told
Of the babe in the manger, and the three wise-men,
With gifts of the like which the special interests garnish politicians,

But now there should be only one sun, and the hive
Of lips which drinks up the sweat from its fur, for it
Doesn’t know of such things; those stories belong
In the green of gentled worlds, for now he only knows
The switch, and the cragged pass which slips upward
In steeper garments,

As the world flips over like a hound hit and wounded
On the interstate; sure to die, the sallow finger’s of the
Preacher’s wife prick upon the keys,
The organ plays, and the spiders march across the
Effluvious webs in spindles over where
Gray and balding heads bend to pray upon the
Swaybacked ropes of creation, a spooky world
Now bonded beneath power-lines and the leaping
Bellies of aero planes,

Who had once seen god naked and panting,
Hunting across the permafrost, awakened from a
Motherly glacier who slid away and wept until
Scalding, birthing but a single world, he feral and
Windswept who swam from the lake of her womb,
And like a tadpole metamorphoses, decided to
Dawn cloths and speak no longer to the trees of her woods.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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