Debauch

Debauch
 
Down in the murk
of bayou and swamp,
down in the Dead Lakes,
I learned to swim
with what might
eat me. I would
not take it back.
 
And in the murk
of churches,
I saw them strain
to sanitize
with sacraments
our human nature.
 
Debauch, the word,
first meant
to lead astray.
And if we aren’t here
to be led astray
then I learned
nothing from danger
or hypocrisy.
 
Even now, this warm
summer evening
far north of trouble,
crickets vibrate
a rolling call
to put down my book
(me, a grandmother)
and wander past
the foxes’ den,
into the dark shade of trees.
Let debauchery do there
what it will.
 
 
S. Robbins, from Readings

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