Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,196 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Wanderers - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Reindeer are stepping deeper in the bitter moss,
Mindless of the little fingers of blue hypnosis;
Clutching the smooth stones of the swaying west,
Not even the natives remember, as they hunt,
The ones who have died here and gone before.

What religion the moon casts onto the antlers’ arc,
Across those red stems where felt collects like
Calcifying minerals, dusted with the earlier snows;
Here is something not even the quiet speaks of,
A procession of white throated does,

Their eyes the perception of her unconcerned migrations,
Their bellies where the snow clings in tufts and balls,
Where the boreal caterpillars cocoon in moist antechambers;
When they change it will be too early, and they will freeze
Like slips of sunlight joined together in a curse,

And they will fall away from the amber steps of hooves,
The unperturbed steady trunks of the horned wanderers,
Their kids tugging on the black nipples at their bellies,
The orchids of forthright animals, the milk of talc,

And northward where the glaciers climb in ways of deep ruts,
Past the splendid death buried in its time,
The moments of lucid trinkets sparkling a wonderful mystery
Freed of the concerned stems which motivated the restless bodies,
Beneath the swaying monuments of vermilion hue,
And the breathless curtain pricked by furnaces, keeping pace.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 15, 2008

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