Tuesday, April 12, 2011

To the clubhouse

His last hole, he said today
Number 18, a par four
Slight dogleg left, work the ball?
Or just play the fade, 3 wood Dad
Keep it in the fairway, short grass
That smooth swing, the address
Tee it low into the breeze
Hit the driver? 3 wood, Dad
You once could clear that oak
Keep it in the fairway, short grass
The shot, clean, true
Heads for that damn oak, fades right
To the middle, the rough is deep
The slow walk, down from the tee box
I caddie, carry clubs, pull out the 4 iron
Wipe it clean, slide the tee
Grooves shallow, after untold
Thousands of shots, coffee?
Remember that eagle here?
That seven iron shot?
I was eight I think, you were…stronger
Too many bogeys that day though, 83
That was a shot, though
The ball landed behind the hole
Backspin, right in there
4 iron? Watch, the grip, a good lie
Twilight, sun behind the clubhouse now
Head still, listening, whoosh, divot flies
Ball true, straight low, at the pin
You’re on the dancefloor, Dad
Remember how you danced with Mom?
She’s watching from the clubhouse porch
Probably ordered you a Manhattan already
Nothing like walking down the fairway
All the way to the green, cleats clean
Let me clean that club, here’s your putter
There it sits, a nine footer, maybe, less?
Mark the ball, clean it, reset
Titleist word points to the hole
Flag out, cup’s a calling you, Dad
Make this your last birdie,
He’ll par the course if he sinks this
Walk around, line it up, he crouches
Behind the ball, I stand behind
We agree, soft stroke, she’ll break left
That old blade putter shines
The one I held and swung
On the living room rug, practice
Feet shoulder width, a bit bess
Grip soft, feel the clubhead, moment
Forever, this putt better go, I know
Eyes closed, listening, imagining
The tap, the pause, the sound
Of the dimples rattling the metal
The flag flaps in my hand, he smiles
In there, good hole, 72
Yeah, no kiddin’ you hit par today
You kept it in the fairway, or
Maybe those putts were it, 6 under par
For putts, by my count
To the clubhouse, Dad
I’ll clean your clubs and
Take your card, let’s sign it
This day, sun, a bit of wind,
Greens were moist on the front 9
It must have been the hot dogs
We munched, halfway, mustard
Relish, take it all in, to hell with that oak
We wish we had had more
But we have this crazy game
Meet me in the clubhouse later,
What a round, Dad.
What a round.

pictured: the 15th hole at Rock Manor Golf Course, near Wilmington Delaware...where Dad loved to play and where I learned the game that we both love...

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