Deborah Harding

po_Harding-Deborah1

 

 

 


BASEBALL IN THE LIVING ROOM
Deborah Harding

Through the yellow roses on the coffee table
I peer at the ball game, tired of Whitman, tired
of wanting to be great.

“Holy cow,” roars the announcer,
“walk him walk him,” Dad hollers,
my parents planted in their twin recliners, suited up
in silk pajamas—and when it’s Miller time Dad
limps to the kitchen with his bad hip, there’s the chink
of spoon and glass as he mixes the nightly dose of Metamucil—
Mom turns to me with that sigh of surrender:
“since the surgery,” she says,
“all he wants to do is watch baseball.”

Five to three. Top of the eighth.
Leary pitching.
“Who do you think our pin-up boy’s gonna be this year?”
jokes one of the guys—and I stare at these beauties,
the hard butts, the kind
you want to sink your nails into, and
the cocks, I bet they’re hung like stallions.

The first baseman slides one hand
over his hip, wets his bottom lip—
I think he wants me
then the black one leans over the plate
ready to swing—he means business, that look
you want to see when a man’s
on top of you—these men in their prime,
I’d take any one of them
right now on this couch—Dad snoring,
I should go to bed, finish The Body Electric, sleep…

Gonzales fouls one,
spits a stream of tobacco, a thick gold chain ribs
his neck like a rein, wild eyes
dark as a river stone—

Mom’s drifting now her head makes little bobs
before she catches it
somewhere in a field of consciousness.

Berryhill slams it to third, the crowd
leaps to their feet—everyone’s going nuts,
the full moon, my bare legs, the ball low and outside.