Robin Behn

Here at the Scene
September 15, 2011 Behn Robin

Here at the Scene

Deborah Digges, 1950-2009


How will I tell her particular tale
who now belongs to earth
where we are all the same

who had a heart-shaped face
and a lioness heart
the wild laugh of all the saints
drunk at once

who given a field of wildflowers
would wade blindly in
until their exquisite faces
turned her mind to lace

and when a rhythm came to her
in language or in love
would ride the horse of it
across the far pasture

and through the jagged woods till
it came away in strips
and she was in the clearing again
afloat on her own words
a little blissful while

Some of the rest’s a strobe light slideshow too
wild boring stupid hard giddy tender to tell

and the tiny totem witnesses hanging
in her kitchen in the rickety printer’s drawer
–thimbles and thimble-sized porcelain dolls shards
from three continents itty bitty Dutch shoes a legion

of wings rings changeling leafy rinds a matchstick
flute errant buttons requisite china horse the
rough-scissored locket-shaped faces of her
boys as boys–

do not quit their dusty little prison cells
to leap into a diorama that would explain

Here at the edge of the field
the sparrows alight on the silence
I have always kept
but they can only speak
untranslated Sparrow now

Here is what poetry comes to:
the stadium’s tall equine stature the
far stables smearing the distance the
particular huge hoof print breaking the planet’s crust …

Genius, you tyrant,
no oats!

Robin Behn’s fifth book of poems, Quarry Cross, will be out in spring 2018 from Plume Editions/MadHat Press, and her edited volume for young writers, Once Upon a Time in the Twenty-first Century: Unexpected Exercises in Creative Writing, will be out from the University of Alabama Press. She teaches in the MFA Program at the University of Alabama and lives in Birmingham.