Robert Rorabeck

Bronze Star - 2,193 Points (04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

While You Lay Asleep - Poem by Robert Rorabeck

Going through the motions of a work place,
Trying to make eyes with Alma:
Brown, saturnine, always cleaning: Alma:
Sometimes you look up at me and my soul tears away
Like a little boy releasing his kite,
Hoping it will go past the power lines and be free:
Sometimes you don’t look at me at all, and I stand beside
The water cooler
And know it is because I can’t put together two good stanzas:
I’ve been doing this all week:
Drinking and bumming for you, Alma, while you make love
To Nelson;
And where do your children sleep?
Where do your parents sleep:
You have so many beautifully and golden rings on your fingers:
You shop at the Sunshine Flea Market where I used to play in the open
Theatre of trees as a boy, past the clutches of
Rattle snakes and the dams of water moccasins:
I was alive a full seven years before you were conceived and then
Set out like a paper boat through the tiny saints of Guerrero Mexico;
But you found your way here, Alma,
To my playground, and we happened together as I made my way home:
And now I have no other wish but to find you out,
Alma,
To find out what your dreams sound like while you lay asleep.


Comments about While You Lay Asleep by Robert Rorabeck

  • (5/9/2010 12:52:00 PM)


    You've captured the fateful convergence of two people from different lands and time zones, who find themselves in the same place, and not quite sure of the enormity of their destinies. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Friday, May 7, 2010



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