Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,195 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

If You Know What You Do - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Going away from the trains further,
Going away for good- going to become a beautiful
Innocent girl smoking in a store-room,
Going up the switchbacks, and going down the
Switchbacks and the traffic is always rushing,
But my dogs will only live for so many years;
So many years the cats and goldfish will live,
Kelly; and you don’t know what you’ve found:
My words they are perfumed badges, but they are just
The sweet cadavers still exhumed above this ground,
Above this earth, like sweet melons trying to disavow
Their marriage of gravity, or their marriage to so many
Things that are still weeping, that haven’t turned
And you saw a dolphin; and you saw a water moccasin,
And you gave a shout,
And danced above your grave; that was what you were
Doing, dancing like a dying airplane above your grave;
You didn’t even know you were dying: I caught a glance
At your breast, at your tattoo and you were wheeling to
And fro,
And I didn’t know what I was doing, but I had to let you
Go and you spilled from my fingers like the early morning
Holidays of paper snowflakes, of bamboo;
And your children shot off fireworks and fell asleep in
The zoo;
And you are a beautiful woman, Kelly; Kelly,
But I really, really wonder if you know what you can do.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 28, 2010

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