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Individual Voices / Natural Forms

Winter, 2006

Doren Robbins

What Returns

At Pico and Normandy,
at the Greek festival,
I was thinking in Greek 

about my brother
sending a postcard from the
archeological museum in Athens; 

a color photo of a bronze, a boy jockey,
about my age, fourteen,
in midair, riding alone. 

I pinned the rider
by the night lamp, mounted
on the invisible horse, 

a 4" by 6" card, his legs clasping
the body not there, still carrying him,
the light: gold-brown in the lamp shade. 

And the Greeks placed him, still
admiring him, suspending him
high up over the wood base, 

the delight of the boy uplifted,
astride, held up by a steel bar,
his boy's face carried 

straight ahead, fast,
and without his horse,
for now an imagined horse. 

At the Pico and Normandy of Greece,
on my journey, in the almost bare
corridor, in the roped-off exhibition, 

the boy jockey rode his race horse,
pounding ahead, rediscovered,
the Aegean Sea somewhere, 

retrieved for him, reassembled*
twelve years after my brother*
the horse, the blue green bronze;

the divers raised the pieces up,
what care, drawn to the place,
drawn by their tentative maps, 

the approximate knowledge,
forelegs and hind legs
striding, the neck fur blown 

toward his hand again, the force,
the shape of the leg muscles
stretched as though struggling up 

through layers of the sea floor,
through all the outlasted currents,
to him, really, to anyone 

standing by that frail rope
missing the lost animal,
returned to the land, 

to the imagined race track,
to the brothers Pico
and Normandy, 

to a brother
missing a brother.