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Delaware Poetry Review

Ben Greer

PEREGRINATIONS


I hear the tub drinking
night after night gulping, huffing water
down
as if it has been on a long
journey the four fat legs
scuttling
to some place else.

Maybe it leaves the room
when I leave slipping
the rusty pipes which
hold it tight and creeping out
the house
a way only
tubs know.

Then returning exhausted
from the long ramble
plugging back in cinching and screwing
to wait for me consumed with obedience
and ineffable
thirst.

To Top





~

NIGHT BASEBALL

Slouching in the bleachers
he is here-
a player once, one-eyed.
Shutmouth guy, hands like pork.
You remember his forearms
wrapped around you
holding the bat.

Tonight, eight years later
you got his style:
a chaw, nothing to say,
hair blond as biscuit.
Eyes long ball blue.

Oh, there were other games
in bumpy lots-
milkweed and rusting cars,
but not like this.
This is it tonight-
stinging summer,
your first little league.

When you step up
you look at him,
but he doesn’t.
He just spits.
So do you
and tap your cleats
the way you saw him do.

The night is day
but not quite.
Darkness lies curled
in the pitcher’s mix.
You dig your cleets,
look one last time
and now he looks too,
his distant eye
blue as the dreaming earth.

And it comes
the first one, white and fast
and so true
it makes him blink.
And you braver
than any could guess
drop your chin, judging
wrong.

Taking the clean curve
hard above your heart-
somehow I am there
behind you
and feel the dreadful ball
shatter your chest,
dropping you,
watching you go down,
smiling, unafraid
down to the red dust
dying
dead.

In the muttering
of the crowd,
he rushes over
his mouth open, empty

But finally saying
it*the words he

Never used. Screaming it:
oh love*




About the Poet

Ben Greer is the author of five novels, among them Slammer, Halloween, and his latest, Murder in the Holy City. His first collection of poems, A Late Disorder, will be published this summer. He teaches in the English department at the University of South Carolina, Columbia.