A Prose Poem by Matthew Dettmer
I’m visiting the suburbs it’s twenty-five minutes from my apartment to tom’s house along the lake the drive was stunning changing leaves the lake bright blue under the sky I drove slurping coffee from a mug balancing it against the turns on and off the highway now
we’re outside in the backyard trapping and passing a junior sized soccer ball my friend tom who met me and his now-wife tracy in college a hundred years ago they got married and raise two kids who aren’t as interested in the ball the younger one
timmy has trouble sitting still during zoom preschool now he’s hurtling across the yard while tom and I talk the election with resignation and fantasy football resignedly I can feel the moist earth under my feet and the sweat turning the underarms of my shirt darker black and then
timmy starts carrying a football while he lurches over the lawn his dad and I joke how he’s a north south runner needs to improve his lateral quickness at one point he stops and holds the ball out like he wants it thrown to him but
timmy doesn’t understand why we can’t play catch this year even though it’s such a great afternoon for it October in America the thick backyard grass the sky stretched out blue the trees everywhere turning green to gold and gold to bare.
Matthew Dettmer is a physician, writer, and musician in Cleveland, OH. His work has been previously published in the Hybrid Harpy Review and in Neighborhood Voices, a literary anthology presented by Literary Cleveland. Check out his band The Dole at https://thedole.bandcamp.com.