A Night of Bowling

A Night of Bowling

Game #1

At night when we are running through our moons
bowling balls confer like solemn senators
with their three fingered look of astonishment
swapping war stories of 7-10 splits craftily made
riding and rolling and curving down that 60 foot stage
looking into the quaking bellies of frightened pins
they tell of spinning in that single-second chaos
of booming and ka-booming everything that is lost and won
and then how the great machine lifts you up and swaddles
you down onto the track for another round.

Game #2

My mother bowled on weightless lanes
she shook the hands of head pins standing
she rolled for statues of golden women caught
in a timeless pose of letting go
she wore the shirts of all night diners
she bore the lightness of every lucky turn
as if bowling balls did not follow the same laws as mortal planets
but were unchained comets of delight as the pins exploded all around her knees
so brief a thing
to still be echoing down these long lanes of Bowl-O-Rama happiness.

Game #3

So now it’s your turn
get up from that settee and take the stage
nothing that has come before means anything
not the Renaissance not the Enlightenment
even the two World Wars are washed away
your arm is coming down like a spiritual clock hand
the ball rolls out onto the warmed up wood
you twist your hips with body English to get that last chance curve
that beauty ball coming in then crossing left over the head
going for a final turn you’ll get that strike -- Jersey side!

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