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Dust settles on the country road,

the second car this hour blew by and disappeared.

 

Pops' radio is crowing through the screen door;

I can’t tell yet if John Mellencamp’s voice

is breaking up from his smokes

or if the Panasonic’s speakers

have sung their last song.

 

It's dusk, and the heat is finally receding across the fields

in about 30 minutes it will be pitch black

and the crickets will amp up 

about the same time the music will fade from the radio as

WCOU fades in: 

 

Bottom of the fourth inning now, and the Reds will come up 

leading by two,  with Joe Morgan to lead it off

takes a ball,  then fouls one away, down the first base line, 

bouncing into the stands...


 

I grab my batting gloves and Louisville Slugger

from the garage, then step in at home plate.

In the distance the laurel oaks evaporate

into grandstands,

 

the cricket’s chirps become deafening applause,

Rick Wise is out there taunting me, spitting seeds on the mound,

winding up that rocket of an arm—

 

 

Johnnie, come in for dinner!


Ma’s voice can squash any radio at full blast.

I run my finger across my throat

as if to say:  tomorrow, Rick Wise,

tomorrow you’ll get yours.

 



This was written in collaboration with etouffee.

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