blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Pitching Horseshoes

Some of your buddies might come around
            for a couple of beers and a game,
                        but most evenings, you pitched horseshoes

alone. I washed up the dishes
            or watered the garden to the thudding
                        sound of the horseshoe in the pit,

or the practiced ring of metal
            against metal, after the silent
                        arc—end over end. That last

summer you played a seamless, unscored
            game against yourself, or night
                        falling, or coming in the house.

You were good at it. From the porch
            I watched you become shadowless,
                        then featureless, until I knew

you couldn't see either, and still
            the dusk rang out, your aim that easy;
                        between the iron stakes you had driven

into the hard earth yourself, you paced
            back and forth as if there were a decision
                        to make, and you were the one to make it.  

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