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Orion Analysis

Author: poem of Adrienne Rich Type: poem Views: 13

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Far back when I went zig-zagging

through tamarack pastures

you were my genius, you

my cast-iron Viking, my helmed

lion-heart king in prison.

Years later now you're young

my fierce half-brother, staring

down from that simplified west

your breast open, your belt dragged down

by an oldfashioned thing, a sword

the last bravado you won't give over

though it weighs you down as you stride

and the stars in it are dim

and maybe have stopped burning.

But you burn, and I know it;

as I throw back my head to take you in

and old transfusion happens again:

divine astronomy is nothing to it.

Indoors I bruise and blunder

break faith, leave ill enough

alone, a dead child born in the dark.

Night cracks up over the chimney,

pieces of time, frozen geodes

come showering down in the grate.

A man reaches behind my eyes

and finds them empty

a woman's head turns away

from my head in the mirror

children are dying my death

and eating crumbs of my life.

Pity is not your forte.

Calmly you ache up there

pinned aloft in your crow's nest,

my speechless pirate!

You take it all for granted

and when I look you back

it's with a starlike eye

shooting its cold and egotistical spear

where it can do least damage.

Breath deep! No hurt, no pardon

out here in the cold with you

you with your back to the wall.


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