Bruce Robinson

In temperate praise

                           and here tomorrow morning.
                                                       – Charles Reznikoff


Only we can speak of a beauty
refined by
                                                 in those desperate days, my daughter.

Daily the corpses lay down
in the street,
                                                 lying easy now, with enough,
                                                 for once,

to eat
in those desperate days, my daughter.

                                                 We look for something simple, like a

for explanation.  Very little
                                                  explains starvation
                                                  in decent ways, my daughter.

All are equal when none
survive; reserve

                                                 your pity:
                                                 in those desperate days no one thrived,

my daughter.
A wall could be our world,

                                                 In fact, would be sufficient:
                                                 gentle smudge

of lava, shadow of a cloud.  Or that
sudden clap

                                                of hands before we
                                                cry out loud

in desperate praise, my daughter.



Recent work by Bruce Robinson appears or is forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Spoon River, Rattle, Mantis, Two Hawks Quarterly, Peregrine, Tipton Poetry Journal, North Dakota Quarterly, and Aji.