Man he was destined to become,
what roiled creek do you cast your line
across, what towering office do
you occupy, what bread rises,
what floor gets waxed, what wound heals
beneath your hands?
On a corner in Mankato,
Minnesota, he waits to make
peace with the wind. Cars go by in threes,
and proper drivers are flipping him
the bird. He crosses the street,
looking for you.
In the Wagon Wheel Café, he
eats the eggs you would have ordered.
He eavesdrops on pensioners.
On a gray sidewalk, he passes
Once Read Books, nods to yoginis
behind the steamy glass
of Sun Moon Studio. Man
he was destined to become, did you ever
catch the pearl-colored trout? Or is
your life like this one, a Chinese
poem, a wandering walk, a hand in search
of its twin?
Richard Robbins was raised in California and Montana, taught for many years in Minnesota, and recently moved back west to Oregon. The Oratory of All Souls was published by Lynx House Press in January 2023. His website is https://www.richardrobbinspoems.com