Friday, June 3, 2022

Laura Walker : Orphan, Apprehended (for Elizabeth Robinson

from Report from the Robinson Society, Vol. 1, No. 1


                                                                                 For Elizabeth, with gratitude.





In the discerning world
come home again,
his face is simple and fine.

He insists.

Maybe I am the one who tells the story
your little daughter
a red flag

two unnamable creatures


She will keep her promises.
All walls will henceforth be red.
And the expenditure of branches—

What is ringing out.


she calls it: a red flag


and everything subsides.

We do not know what comfort is.






           on the inner surfaces of my hands

                         The Orphan




Come home again,

besotted with you


the water is left behind,
the slow unfolding


you will repine


mouths fall
a bird swoops down

an exchange of names.


Here is a blanket.


mouth to mouth
ragged peonies
the slow unfolding



                                                        He makes the onlookers hunger.


                                                        She will keep her promises.






Note on the text: The poem is collaged from The Orphan & Its Relations and
Apprehend, by Elizabeth Robinson.







Laura Walker is the author of six books of poetry, including psalmbook, forthcoming from Apogee Press, as well as a chapbook forthcoming with above/ground press. She has taught poetry at San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley Extension, University of San Francisco’s MFA program, and to fourth and fifth graders annually in the Berkeley public schools. She is forever grateful to Elizabeth for her backyard poetry readings, her kitchen table conversations, and for making AWP more bearable. More information is available at

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