The following is poem number 9 of 2009’s NaPoWriMo – 30 poems in 30 days during the month of April. The original prompt was, “If you send me the right amount of cash, I can help you”. I deviated more with this one than any other so far – the initial writing involved a phone call, which is all that remains in the version below. Somewhere there’s a poem about a telemarketer waiting to happen.
Remember getting drunk in Chicago after the game
when I called Soriano’s home run in the first?
You bet me a beer I couldn’t do it again. I tried
and bought. Then we got caught between bars
in Wrigleyville while a rain washed down. You told me
Claire was pregnant, you were scared shitless,
couldn’t stop thinking about other women,
not with the milk-fed Midwestern girls
busting out of Cubs shirts.
You bet me I wouldn’t say hello to the two
who smiled behind the next pub’s smoke.
After I did we talked about how easy it would be
to do something and forget, then called our wives
to say we missed them, couldn’t wait to be back.
We finished, caught the long train to where
we were staying, went out for last call
then fell asleep, woke hung over, got our flights
and split the country in half.
I was thinking about you right before you called
to say your girl was born. By now you’ve worked through
thoughts of leaving, the ones we all have,
even our fathers who never said.
Let’s be men like them, do the right thing when
we don’t know what it is, just work off
a list of do’s and don’ts, as easy as calling a shot
like I did that day in Chicago before we got drunk.