tigers 2

A Tiger’s Game, Detroit, 08-07-06*
        for Pat and Mary

Fifth, sixth, and seventh
we sat in a row, like innings,
siblings on bar stools
we ordered tequila, rum
and cold Canadian beer
to cool us on our way
down the unyielding call
of memory lane

Tiger fans roared behind us
oblivious to August’s wet sun
dipping into the blue promise
of a cool evening, the Detroit River
muddy but reflecting the end
of a hot day and wavering concrete
quieted outside the pub’s windows
as we watched the scoreless skyline
another round and we touched base

Tall tales gushed like street showers
from the corner fire hydrant
Chalfonte and Prevost
we told the one about throwing stones
dumb and hard at bee hives
or pushing rocks inside the mud pies
to fling at a neighbor’s garage
or playing ball in the Feeney’s
big back yard, and how, we laughed,
I was never any good

And then there were
Sunday morning adventures
when mom and dad slept late
before church so we tipped couches
to make castles, covered lamps
with blanket tents, piled 45s
on spindles and danced
in the basement in our socks
like the big kids did

Our tongues flapping like flags
in the stands, we cheered
each other on. Remember
remember, remember when.
We had clearly lost
track of the score.

A pigeon pecked its way
across the ledge of a dark green girder
guarding the monolithic stadium, this
Detroit family, nodding in agreement
to a strange trio’s nostalgic reverie
or perhaps just the vibration
of 41,000 spectators shouting
stomping and chewing hot dogs.

That myriad of voices proved no match
for the stories that poured
from our long-ended sibling rivalry
we filled the innings with reunion
souvenirs we didn’t realize
we had savored for decades.

Toys and trinkets piled on the dark wood bar
bobbing-head tigers and t-shirts,
another round of yesterday secured
our place in this nine-inning game.

The laughter fended off the fear,
or the temptation to spill
old, determined anger, which slipped
instead underneath the blue
and orange cocktail napkins
the growling tigers
safe at home.

*We beat the Twins, 9-3

image from https://stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/comerica-park-s10/

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5 thoughts on “A Tiger’s Game, Detroit, 08-07-06

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