by Robert Manaster

I’d like to think he yelled down,
But his shoulders twitched
And his chest flinched forward.
He kept a grunt to himself, thinking
I wouldn’t notice this urge.

In the lower grandstands, we sat near
A rusted post. My father wore
His T-shirt and cap.
Only when everyone stood and cheered
Did I clap and jump,
Did I yell in a frenzy.

Somehow he tempered excitement
Thinking me too silly of a boy
To stand there awhile. I sat down.
Peanut shells swirled about the sticky aisle.
He held the scorecard, recording plays

In bold-black capitals and slashes
Through base paths. Without exception
He spelled out to me when errors were made.
He complained they should have stopped the rally
In the fifth: Beckert should have gotten the grounder —

It was slow enough.

Robert Manaster’s poetry and co-translations have appeared in numerous journals including Rosebud, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Image, The Literary Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Spillway. His co-translation of Ronny Someck’s The Milk Underground (White Pine Press, 2015) was awarded the Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation. He’s currently an assistant editor at Fifth Wednesday Journal.