(04/10/1978 / Berrien Springs)

The Dimly Glowing Heart

In kindergarten with the purple tulips
And my first love:
We learn the alphabet and nursery rhymes:
I envision her lips indenting the sea,
But she loves my best friend
And play games with him,
When the class plays games-
My parents work all day under the sun,
And sing songs as they make money,
But they don’t even worry that I might love,
Her curls-
In the afternoons we sleep and
I steal things for her to confirm my love-
When I show them to her,
The shells of my early craft:
Beneath the dark circles my troubled
Eyes exhibit,
Things borrowed without return,
She is not impressed-
Turning, she kisses Michael and goes away.
Over the swing set, the
Sky is rumbling with ominous disquiet:
There, the bulbous heads of puffing
Weather writhe like darkening weeds,
The lightning in fitful briars....
Returning to the little classroom,
I dutifully sit before the gray-haired teacher,
And wait for her to tell me anything-
As the rain begins its pitter-patter
Over the dimly glowing heart.

by Robert Rorabeck

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