Staying Late

There is the grass like velvet, 

and the net like a web

catching the dreams of almost-thirteen year old boys,

and sometimes the ball–

most of the time the ball, (he would want me to say).

A light rain sprinkles the summer-dusted windshield when he approaches and asks to stay

in the dusk, with his coach on the bench lifting his nose to the cooled air 

and towards the sudden emptiness of green as the cars move through the asphalt eyebrow.

Parents rub their eyes, thinking about dinner; they will mention homework, too. Headlights brighten.

But here I sit and there he goes.

He’s hard to spot at the far end of the field as the trees pick up wind and sway above his quickening form.

He moves faster,

and then he is fire.

His face stills and his leg springs out from behind 

the other one bent and stable

and then forward, connecting his blaze to the ball:

a moment

between father and son

as the neon-pink ball expands the flesh of nylon.

A smile forms and he turns away to skip down to the far end of the field, again. 


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