A Wyoming native and second-generation Japanese American, Roripaugh studied music, earning a BM in piano performance and an MM in music history before earning an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University, Bloomington. In 2015 she was appointed poet laureate of South Dakota.
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I always forget the name,
even though it was the flower
loved best. They came in pairs—sleek,
heads, the clockwork machinery
of their blurred wings
thrumming swift, menacing engines.
They slipped their beaks.
as if they were swizzle sticks, deep
into the blue
throat of delphinium and sucked