Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bowling 101

Rushing forward with the determination of a rattlesnake
Nothing frivolous, no wasted motion, a means to an end
Smack! A-plawk plawk plawk
The pins are swept back into the pit and I take another drag of my cigarette.
The machine resets- se-tunk!
New pins drop down like teeth- grinning, vicious, empty in their whiteness
“The pins are off spot, on lane twelve.”
I look up at my father’s round head, harsh, resolute
He squints towards the pins in question
Smack! A-plawk plawk plawk
My hands race across the keyboard
“I don’t think so. I just checked the specs on the computer. The pins are fine.”
“Nope. They’re off. Listen.”
“Listen to what? They sound like pins- pins that are on spot, according to the computer.”
Another ball down the lane, unmerciful, bending towards the pins
Smack! A-plawk plawk plawk
They fall like tired soldiers, out-armed, out-classed
The sweeper drops down
Pulls the pins into the pit
My father’s eyes turn towards me, squinting, searching
I stub my cigarette out in the ash tray, slowly twisting the butt.
His eyes are focused, like a hawk’s eyes before the kill swoop
But he must think better of it, he hesitates
This one rolls in the gutter dum, pum pum pum
“You see that? He dropped his shoulder.”
I blink and glace at the bowler on twelve
“That’s the best way to learn, watch other people’s mistakes.”

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