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Still Swinging

After chewing shoe leather they called steak, 
in the Pencey cafeteria, 
Mal, Ackley, and I enjoyed a winter afternoon on campus, 
on the bus, and in a restaurant.
We walked across a puffy white quilt 
as students conversed, laughed, and threw snowballs.
I held my snowball until the bus driver told me to leave it outside.
We had intended to see a comedy with Cary Grant, 
but Mal and Ackley had already seen it. 
We hung out in the restaurant played pinball and ate burgers.

Arriving back at our dorms at a quarter to nine, 
Mel left for a bridge game 
and Ackley shoved his acne ridden face into my pillow 
until I told him I had a paper to write.

I couldn’t write what Stradlater wanted.
I couldn’t describe any rooms without elaborate furniture.
I couldn’t describe sporty rooms 
with trophies on dressers and pennants on walls. 
My brother Allie played baseball.
He wrote poetry on his catcher’s mitt with a green pen.
He stood in right field and recited verse from his imagination, 
in his mind.

He died from leukemia very young.
I fell into a depression, 
a garage, 
a gym with windows to punch out.
I broke my hands against our station wagon’s windows.
I cannot make a tight fist.
I curl my fingers enough to type excerpts of Allie’s poetry 
for a paper that will never be appreciated.

My red headed brother Allie, 
such a good natured kid, 
he had a good combination of extrovert and introvert, 
avoiding anger.
Sitting on his bike fifty yards away 
with his hair shining in the sun 
as I teed off, 
hoping to make a distant green and shoot under par.
Mom had scored a hole in one with him.
I still try to overcome unidentified handicaps 
on a hazardous course.
If you are intrigued by this work read and review G. D. Master’s book, “Interpretations,” free in PDF format on Enter “gd master” or “interpretations” in the search bar of SmashWords to find it.

Copyright © Graphite Drug | Year Posted 2017


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  1. Date: 3/24/2018 3:40:00 PM

    A heart-felt and touching dedication to Allie, Graphite. A tragic story of youth and untimely loss. Nicely done! Best wishes, Mikki