Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Morning Reading: "each night was a Walt Whitman of holidays"

American Summer
by Edward Hirsch

Each day was a time clock that scarcely moved,
a slow fist punching us in, punching us out,
electric heat smoldering in the purple air,

but each night was a towering white fly ball
to center field—“a can of corn”—coming down
through stark glittering above the diamond.

Each day was a pair of heavy canvas gloves
hoisting garbage cans into an omnivorous mouth
that crept through thoroughfares and alleys,

but each night was the feeling of a bat
coming alive in your hands, it was lining
the first good pitch for a sharp single.

That summer I learned to steal second base
by getting the jump on right-handed pitchers
and then sliding head-first into the bag.

I learned to drive my father’s stick shift
And to park with my girlfriend at the beach,
Our headlights beaming and running low.

I was a sixteen-year-old in the suburbs
and each day was another lesson in working,
a class in becoming invisible to others.

But each night was a Walt Whitman of holidays,
the clarity of a whistle at five p.m.,
the freedom of walking out into the open air.



Dawn said...

I'm enjoying this summer theme you have going.

Rebel Girl said...

Thanks! Me, too.

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