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Wedding the Locksmith's Daughter

Robin Robertson

The slow-grained slide to embed the blade 
of the key is a sheathing,
a gliding on graphite, pushing inside
to find the ribs of the lock.

Sunk home, the true key slots to its matrix;
geared, tight-fitting, they turn
together, shooting the spring-lock,
throwing the bolt. Dactyls, iambics--

the clinch of words--the hidden couplings
in the cased machine. A chime of sound
on sound: the way the sung note snibs on meaning

and holds. The lines engage and marry now,
their bells are keeping time;
the church doors close and open underground.

From Slow Air by Robin Robertson. Copyright © 2003 by Robin Robertson. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers. All rights reserved.

From Slow Air by Robin Robertson. Copyright © 2003 by Robin Robertson. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers. All rights reserved.

Robin Robertson

by this poet

poem
after Baudelaire
The men would sometimes try to catch one,
throwing a looped wire at the great white cross
that tracked their every turn, gliding over their deep
gulfs and bitter waves: the bright pacific albatross.

Now, with a cardboard sign around his neck, the king
of the
poem

Still sleepwalking through her life,
I wrap her up
and we go through the snow that fell all night
and all through this Christmas morning:
her trainers barely denting the whitened lawn, her
two strides for every stride of mine.

Leaving her home
to the warmth of the house
I