Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,259 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

The Greatest Sleep They Would Ever Know - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Last night the law stole my dreams
And banished me into an unworrisome crypt,
Where the moon was so bright that it made the
Nocturnal gardens bloom, coral and spikenard,
Where silver veins were revealed tangled deep in
The sand, and your eyes were not far off,
Though I couldn’t write of them with any grace:
My mother was there, under the alto swings,
Where I was still a child in overalls with blond hair
And many wishes hidden in tall grass for Easter,
And just over the rise where the Australian Pine trees
Clustered both exhausted and inebriate, the sea washed,
Shushing the same lullaby it played to the conquistadors
As they bled out into her, and I still wait for her to
Call without any sympathy, but that note is past due,
And they have left the orchestra in the liberal arts room
Well past midnight without any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,
As the ghost paces the small square room of the clock tower,
With determined duties, and I recognize his face, because he will
Not turn to me, for from his station he can see her crawling
Caesuras, the lauding she gives to the convex horizon
Without realizing for sure what it was- Just a memory,
A soul unfurled, and in the morning there’ll she be again,
As cut blue as if I had never seen her,
But the ghosts and the sad men of their watch, and the
Little child I was up and down across the arc of the squealing
Swings- all of that will become lost, unremembered for what it was,
The insubstantial twittering above the dunes where the
Crabgrass grows, and the burs stowaway in the blouses of little
Girls, and the winos sing up and down no worse than their dogs,
And she is there forever like a note carrying endlessly,
A sculptor of unequalled time, where in her tears and drool,
Nameless men both arise and succumb to her,
As if she were the greatest sleep they would ever know.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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