BellaOnline Literary Review
Tentacles by Christine Catalano

Table of Contents


Fathers And Sons

Joseph Farley

The ball travels across the yard and across the years
hitting leather so hard your hand stings.
You shake off the pain filled with pride that your son,
skinny boy that he is, can throw such zingers.

The gloves are old heirlooms from your own childhood
with machine printed autographs of Brooks Robinson and Pete Rose.
Your twelve year old doesn´t know these old heroes,
he only knows Jason Werth, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard.

The boy throws wild and you counsel him on hard work,
and what it will take to make the high school team,
an accomplishment you failed to achieve despite your sweat,
but you trust he will do better, he has more raw talent.

He has no interest in such things but tolerates your dreams.
He prefers to play with his friends in the living room
taking turns driving digital cars or killing monsters
with lightning reflex of fingers and wrists.

You watch him field a grounder, flip the ball to you
with the same skill he displays with hand controls,
wish he would learn to love the smell of grass,
the feel of sunshine and the crack of the bat,

but in your heart you know that will not happen.
He only humors you by playing catch and shagging fly balls.
His desires are elsewhere and are not the same as yours.
You had your chance to be a little boy and it is gone.

After an hour your son says he is tired but looks bored.
He goes inside, you follow and put the gloves away.
Upstairs you find him on the sofa with his feet up,
the game console is on and the control is in his hand.

You sigh and look in the mirror at hair turning white,
expanding belly and eyes that do not burn as bright
as your youth when you longed for pinstripes,
swallow the loss; begin the long wait for grandsons.

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