In The Shallows

It’s time to go to bed up in the rafters of
Soft light
Where the roosters never carol- and the girls
Good at witchcraft are sleeping-
It seems to be a bucolic spell, fat and milky
Bellied:
And they are selling pumpkins down in the
Hazy estuaries on the other side
Of the forest
With the trolls tucked underneath their bridges
Good for eating students who have traveled
Too far astray in their truancy
Looking for a swing-set or the idle promise
Of a housewives:
I’ve seen them share the gory saliva with the soft
Shelled turtles,
Their books tumbling with the puppies in the shallows:
Pecked at by the nimble lips of minnows,
Like lovers who are not even sure they are even there.

by Robert Rorabeck

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