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Me and the Boy 5-18-06 photo

Night game 
 raining on and off 
 seats in right field 
 peanuts, nachos, hot dogs 
souvenir cap 
 in fancy modern non-classic design

 to center field to peer over the wall 
 into the home bullpen 
 where relievers limber rain-out rusty arms, 
then to Home Run Porch 
 where the guy next to us spurts chaw 
 juice every fifteen seconds 
then back to our seats. 

A home run almost comes, 
the right fielder tosses the ball to us— 
a guy in front nabs it, disappointment 
melts in steady raindrops, then re-forms
in fruitless home at-bats. Early leavers
stream toward exits, but we know
who has turns remaining.

Bottom of the ninth 
trailing by one: 
 Homer to tie. 
Homer to win. 
 We cheer 

in the rain 
march to the car, smiling 
with fifteen thousand others. 

Driving home I notice 
not once 
did he make a point of not 
 sitting with me or 
 walking with me. 
Nor did I lecture him 
 or correct him. 
Nor did he argue 
 or annoy. 
Nor did I show annoyance, 
 or impatience. 

And when we get home 
and his mother asks 
 how was the game, 
I say 
 it was a good night, 
and I mean it.

image: Sean Carman