GOING TO A BALL GAME WITH THE BUDAPEST STRING QUARTET

 

I went along as company for Mark,

my friend from school, whose father was the cellist.

The Senators were playing Kansas City,

two bad teams, battling for last place, a bad

introduction for new fans, the quartet

lifting and quaffing jumbo cups of beer.

The day was sunny, early spring, the crowd

buzzing between the cat-calls and the cheers,

and I was serving as interpreter

who could explain runs, hits, foul balls, and strike-outs.

 

The game’s absurdity first made them frown,

as though they smelled something bad, or got a blast

of rock and roll, but soon they joked in Russian,

exploding into laughter, almost dancing

in their hard seats, and I could picture them

moving together in hilarity

at Beethoven’s epic jesting, still an ensemble

in the scherzo of a noisy stadium.

 

 

John Drury is the author of Sea Level Rising (Able Muse Press, 2015) and three previous poetry collections. He teaches at the University of Cincinnati.

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