Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,238 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

For Love Of You - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

The day was long and hot for the old man,
And he was very lonely never having
Accomplished anything:
You had never given him your love,
The holidays of your children on fieldtrips
Or feeding elephants at the zoo:
He used to have dreams of being in charge
Of the remote control boats well beside the
Hungry lions din,
Just to watch the young mothers and their
Truants licking snot and cigarettes,
Because they would remind him of you;
But you didn’t even know who he was,
And he grew lettuce in his backyard underneath
The clothes line and the evil serpents in
The apple tree
Who were always telling terrible lies that turned
Up true every time an airplane flipped across
Or a kidnapper drove up and down the street;
But you never called:
He got a cat and named it after you,
And you never knew until now how empty his
Christmas tree was, Sharon,
With gifts he could never give to anyone,
And what trespassed through your life, your husband
And the segues of all of his foals underneath your
Saddle is not the point of this story:
The night was warm when he died, the forever temptress
Was out doing her laundry underneath the
Plaedies of Kalamazoo; and maybe she loved him.
Maybe every woman in the universe loved him,
Even the busted superheroes,
But he never thought of them as he was going through
With the gettings done with whatever he was doing;
And his parents were prematurely drunkards and gray,
And after nine lives his cat died,
But he kept on keeping for you;
And that night he had a fever and dreamt of pinball,
And you were always there feeding quarters to the machine.
But wherever you were really, Sharon,
Is not the point of his story;
It is that you were not there, and died:
You were out seeing movies,
Or swinging deep in the backside of parks,
So far in your censers that you passed over the
Graveyards and then back again,
Tasting the luck of both sides;
It was almost as if you’d twice lived, but that
Is not the point:
He was gone in the morning and the sun sounded
No siren,
While the goldfish he’d won for you played too
Close to surface of the shallow pools in his
Bedroom where the clawed ghosts of his gray
Cats were still purring attentive,
Their voices almost screaming the sharpest weathers
Of the lips of the steepest mountains,
Living longer than they should have,
Returning back again across the canals no man or
Cat should have to come return across
For love of you.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, December 14, 2009

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