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Richard Robbins

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

Image Credit: Emma Grey Rose, "Summer's Eve Series/Plains"

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