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  • Through the yellow roses on the coffee table
  • I peer at the ball game, tired of Whitman, tired
  • of wanting to be great.
  • “Holy cow,” roars the announcer,
  • “walk him walk him,” Dad hollers,
  • my parents planted in their twin recliners, suited up
  • in silk pajamas — and when it’s Miller time Dad
  • limps to the kitchen with his bad hip, there’s the chink
  • of spoon and glass as he mixes the nightly dose of meta-mucil —
  • Mom turns to me with that sigh of surrender:
  • “since the surgery,” she says,
  • “all he wants to do is watch baseball.”
  • Five to three. Top of the eighth.
  • Leary pitching.
  • “Who do you think our pin-up boy’s gonna be this year?”
  • jokes one of the guys — and I stare at these beauties,
  • the hard butts, the kind
  • you want to sink your nails into.
  • The first baseman slides one hand
  • over his hip, wets his bottom lip —
  • I think he wants me
  • then the black one leans over the plate
  • ready to swing — he means business, that look
  • you want to see when a man’s
  • on top of you — these men in their prime,
  • I’d take any one of them
  • right now on this couch — Dad snoring,
  • I should go to bed, finish The Body Electric, sleep...
  • Gonzales fouls one,
  • spits a stream of tobacco, a thick gold chain ribs
  • his neck like a rein, wild eyes
  • dark as river stone —
  • Mom’s drifting now, her head makes little bobs
  • before she catches it
  • somewhere in a field of consciousness.
  • Berryhill slams it to third, the crowd
  • leaps to their feet — everyone’s going nuts,
  • the full moon, my bare legs, the ball low and outside.

Deborah Harding Allbritain

Deborah Allbritain’s poems have appeared in Stand Up Poetry, The Unmade Bed, In the Palm of Your Hand, The Antioch Review, Autism Digest, and many other journals and anthologies. She works as a speech pathologist for the Poway Unified School District, where she specializes in students with autism spectrum disorder. “Baseball in the Living Room” originally appeared in The Taos Review and has also appeared in the online journal Dipping into Light and in the poetry teaching guide In the Palm of Your Hand.

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