Red Dust by Bob Bradshaw

Red Dust

I miss not having Jim around.
He taught me how to throw a curve,

and how to hurl myself
into a hook slide.

Inevitably, he began to take half hour baths
and grease his hair. His eyes
dreamy as if he was seeing
a bicycle

on Christmas morning.
Finally he spilled, like his old self,
confessed

to his first kiss.
Any advice? I asked.

“Avoid the nose.”
. . . . . . . .What do you mean?

From then on,
we’d wave at each other.
I’d be coming back
from a baseball game,

Jim would shimmy out the door,
a carnation exploding from his lapel,
and a black bow on.

I’d be in jeans
wearing red dust
from hook slides
into second
base.

by Bob Bradshaw

 

Editor’s Note: The spare lines and simple narrative belie the complex sense of loss and nostalgia that closes this poem. Dust both sticks and blows away.

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