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Poetry by Robin Bennett 

Next to writing poetry, Robin is a journalist, art critic, and PR professional.  She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.



© 2005 Robin Bennett


Thicker than Water

Late morning, the sky draws in the clouds
And we gather dumbfounded, crushed to find it,
Sightless, diminished, far from home;
Dropped from the same pregnant sky

Fig-size, olive-brown and draped in down
I imagine it testing the nest's edge
Teetering, rebelling, a BASE jumper
With no parachute but its own desire

I try to memorize its features:
Plump, round as an egg, tiny beak, stubbed tail
Useless eyes, no song. I store the data
For no other reason than to keep it alive

The five of us are momentarily frozen
An audience of stone statues, crumbs at our feet
Trying to decide, each silently, what it is
A thrasher, a flycatcher, a wren, a nuthatch?

I decide on nuthatch, but keep it silent
Distracted by the smallest differences
Between birds and humans, noticing that
It never trembles, even eclipsed in shadow

I am inside my head, a soft nest
Tugging at worms, when you rouse me
Stepping forward, resigned
To your place in all of this

I watch you, tall as shadow
Cajoling the creature forward
Toward the box, plagued by benevolence
And I feel it bend to your will

Wings flapping awkwardly
Its siren squawk piercing the clouds
Making the rain spill down in sheets
Or translucence; thicker than water

You jerk back suddenly, land on your heels
Startled by the power of your own resolve
And together we watch it ascend
Through a downpour of human doubt





In Lieu of Flowers

Take your Swiss Army
And behead them all
Domestic sleepers
In fragile tissue gowns
You'll never seduce me
With hothouse flowers
For a woman like me, you should
Yank something violently from the ground
Maybe sneak over to the neighbor's
And steal her prized forsythia
And give me something that dusts my thighs
With roots and loose earth

Save the camisole for your wife
I don't need anything else
So easily slipping through my hands
Satisfy your silk and satin fetish
With the ruby-red negligee
Buried in the third drawer, under the Tybee
Island sweatshirt. Fold it in newsprint
Like a freshly purchased fish and while I
Unwrap and slide it down
Sharpen the pruning shears and
Guide them slowly
Vertically up my chest
Freeing what's underneath

Forget the drop and fall
Of diamond pendants or
Rolling sensation of pearls
All I need is your grizzled face
Hard against my neck
And stories of impossible need
Whispered in my hair
Prop me up, mouth open,
Like a cave of fluttering bats and
Unlatch last year's silver locket
Letting it slide between my breasts
Where your lips will fish it out.

Turn-off old blue-eyes,
Leave the dancing shoes at home,
I don't want sounds that stop and start
All a woman like me requires
Is the slipping and sliding
Of getting lost and a well placed
Groan that vibrates the skin
And makes dancing, wine, chocolate,
Cards and flowers seem irrelevant
A woman like me knows what she wants
And it can't be contained
In a heart-shaped box
It shifts and changes with thought and touch
Tongue and please.






All work is property of Robin Bennett.


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