Out In The Penumbras Of The Wide World

The quiet brutality of juvenile life,
I have to write it down while I run from the cops,
Checking out the skirts of trees,
And I make it too, past all the indigo canals,
With so much burping life, the goldfish mutts,
The lethargic pets who rub scaled bellies against
Casual embankments;
And past the housewives too, glowing like blonde
Angels from the highlighted portcullises of their
Kitchens. Seeing them makes me stop and bight
My thumb,
Because everything about them is lined up that way,
Perfectly in place holding apple pies,
They belong on the nosecones of aeroplanes,
Fine instruments strummed at night by bulbous business
Their children swinging in their yard like Catholic censers,
Or playing basketball on wide-swept driveways;

So I move on, and the sirens recede, and the boys
With their billy-clubs can’t find me, and my feet
Have rhythm and have not been too molested by the rote
Memorization of the state enacted school system,
And there are places to the side which are trimmed green
And lazy, where crickets play in the night,
Past the little tinkertoy mall, past the firehouse its vestibules
Emptied of burly men, past the skate park
The hound-dogs sirens receding like fan-blown tinsel
Down the armpits of fake Christmas trees-
Here, speckled in the suburban estuary, no one knows me,
And it is a beautiful thing, to be out in the penumbras of the
Wide world, making my way to Scott’s house,
My bare feet cut on little pieces of irony,
Making me laugh all the way across
Wellington, FL- A slender pugilist lit on wine,
So far away from where I am, given so much time and too
Many similar recitations- these scores have scarred me:
The misplaced yuppie,
no more the high-stepping escape
Artist, blindfolded and arms stretched
Between two avenues, awaiting the chartreuse bus,
Its bullying lies: no more the uneasy youth sleeping through his classes,
And when awakened leaping through windows
And over canals, through sun and through shade
Where no one can find me
With so many places to run.

by Robert Rorabeck

Comments (7)

comparison between the poems windy night and meeting at night
I'm awoken, yet still unbroken. Running, Singing, Laughing, these are all the thing that are happening. THE END { LOVE THIS POEM}, or is this just beginning?
which words are stressed?
I'm a 2nd grader and got a 100 on the poem
I'm the very same - loved this as a kid. And use to imagine the horse galloping through the night. To this day I can recite this poem; almost a decade after first reading it.
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