Poem — James Brown

The Crickets

 

We came creeping out the cracks
hot summer nights at the local swimming pool
like black, anti-cicadas of the night,
our exotic chirps a skimpy advert
for the sins we hoped would be forthcoming.
We sucked in our stomachs
and flourished our bats, ready for anything.

Poolside, we played the age-old game
all the better for bad light.
Girls were the intention, but balls
were all that ever came, and kept on coming,
for, when you were in, the slightest contact meant
you had to run, and keep on running.
That was the rule. We were teenagers
and the rules was wrote in concrete.

Now, from the non-members’ stand, those
ludicrous evenings seem so golden, so
full of promise: a time when things actually were
both impossibly deep and shallow:
the pick pack pock puck of the heart
toward some curving shadow:
that which never really seamed
against that which was never really willow.

 

James Brown

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