The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by James Robison

Methodist Orphanage, 1962,

Girl on Underwood

Listen:  bleachers of keys, engraved XCV
Ampersand, Zed Naught 3
Score, and the sighs and cracks
From the slim shadow by the windowpane
Are an orphan's, darkened by maple shade.

Bargain at the Orphanange, 1962

Pretty May sun tints,
on her institutional bed,
slippery pages carved by lead
of algebra or stars in magazines
and Melville, Donne, Ellery Queens,
ads for cars and bread.
Her sweatshirt rattles me:
a dress. Her feet and legs are bare.
Carelessness, taunting, done on a dare?
I think she doesn't care.
Nothing under but white elastic round
her varnished rounds, cotton tightened by
forms. Look, she says, face down.
Look at my essay, kid, please?
You're so good at doing English and
I'm sick of getting D's.

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