MIDWAY

 

In the cage, my son strikes a pose

angular and fluid, a moment

about to unfold, a turn, a twitch

 

of muscles sending a machine’s pitch

back into netting. After two decades

 

we’ve returned. He knows now

how war sends refugees into the sea,

how seldom quiet results in peace.

 

He knows how long it can take

to help one student find a job.

 

Around us, a carnival in a tired town–

families dawdle on putt-putt greens

and golfers drive buckets of balls.

 

Again and again, his hands flick a bat

with a child’s delight and a man’s force.

 

Beside an orange light, a ball appears,

flies and is driven back. Certainty lives

in a moment of contact. The light

 

goes dark and he steps out,

hands me his bat, and I step in.

 

Michael Lauchlan’s most recent collection is Trumbull Ave. (Wayne State University Press). He has had poems in numerous literary journals, including New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tar River Poetry, Harpur Palate, Poetry Ireland, Cortland Review, and elsewhere.

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