Saturday, May 17, 2014

A poem from Stephen R. Roberts


Wrestling Alligators
by Stephen R. Roberts

The story of the man who lost an arm
to an alligator in a lake down in Florida
makes me think I should put my arms
around these words in a reptilian intimacy,
hug my pets while they’re young
and still small enough to accept such
displays of love or whatever they call it.

I should do this at an early stage of development
because it can be difficult to concentrate
as an arm is being pulled from its socket
in a crocodilian water-dance by a stanza
easily confused with rapture or infatuation.

Mayhem and motive may be misconstrued,
the same as alliteration, if underfed
or overused while ligaments, muscles,
and the mind are being stretched
and torn beyond their capabilities
of elasticity or accommodation.

So I rub the bellies of the little beasts.
Place my pen to paper, deceptively revise
the entranced, undulating bodies to feel
the heat of cold-blooded words unwind.


Bio: Stephen R. Roberts lives on eight acres of Hoosier soil, pretending it to be wilderness. He spends more time now with grandchildren, trees, and poetry, not necessarily in that order. It is the love of these things, along with lariats and other fine examples of rope, that keeps him tying up words, knotting or unknotting poems.

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