Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,025 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

Water Lilly - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Words in dying error:
Kiss the wrong girl,
Or don’t kiss at all:

A ghazal of love stuttered to
A stork,
She is up to her knees in things I didn’t know,
But I’d like to watch the magic beans
Curl up her legs,
And sit on her patched knee
While she eats her jelly sandwich

Her bum in the mud

In the croaking glades;
The reptilian harem,
And she has a book out, a nursery rhyme,
A nip of gin for her bib,
She rides cross-legged on the back of the racing snail
Who smells like an apple barrel,
Having a staring contest with the tortoise.

The weathervanes are mangled in the undergrowth,
And her nails are black from diggings:
She whispered something to the thorny fish,
And he’s gone off to sleep in the thighs of slower currents,

I’ve tried to find her nudged in the watery bramble:
Sometimes she doesn’t wake up for days;
The sun glazes her like a student’s vase,
As she sleeps curled up in a black tire of a plane crash,

But she doesn’t remember
I went to her high school where the
Turtles crawled up to the moon and spawned tar diamonds
That fell to the earth again like toppled coal into the waves;
When she made her escape,
From canal to river to estuary and then everglade;

She was a frantic beauty with wild complexes;
I’d wait for hours just to see her swim in inky puddles
On suburban roads after the thunderheads’
Embarrassing display;
But my kiss glanced off her unconcerned shoulder,
And fell to someone different,
After she touched purple water and did not surface.

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, April 5, 2008

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