We woke & named insect, animal
& trees. We spent time in gardens
gardening, tending a tethered pet:
its manners informed our voices.
Pedigree, fine huntsmen we were
not. Many trophied prey, in fact,
were our friends. By their example
we prayed always our visions full.
Pulled in two, easily as wishbones
who were we kidding? A number
settled our dilemmas &, therefore,
was mutual loss. Our worst kinds
grew brawn, so we forgave spring
or forgave fall. Along a stone fence
we waited days to swim. Otherwise
the cards were stacked in our favor.
We bloomed with the yellow roses
& disaster. We were vespers for it.
No running nor fooling. No panic
nor effect for our town was a stage,
our bridges like stations of a cross.
Our ghostly streets like presidents.
Michael Robins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Ladies & Gentlemen (Saturnalia Books, 2011) and In Memory of Brilliance & Value (Saturnalia, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.