Games
David Walsh

February 19, 2014


We count.
Two teams, one ball, one bat, four bases, as many innings we can fit before dark.
One ball, one basket,  halfcourt blacktop in front of the garage. Eight balls, two colors,
one white target, tossed on grass with no borders.  Eighteen holes, nine irons, one putter,
                                                                                                                            optional scorecard.

We measure and count.
Sixty paces to the plate, ninety between bases, just enough time to throw
from third to first.  Ten steps to the foul line, edge of the driveway is out of bounds.
If you hop wrong on the one, three, five, seven or nine box, you’re out.  We contest
distance between a red or green ball and the white target by measuring
                                                                                                                            with a sneaker.

We count and play.
Fifty-two cards, four shapes, twelve royal faces, it might matter that they wear suits.
Four sets of four marbles complete a circle home without retreat, sorry.  Children climb
ladders or slip down slides to the back of the line. A box of ivory with dots
                                                                                                                            ready to build a train.

We score points, we win, we lose, we laugh, we take our turn,
we watch and wait, swear and share.  We count to each other.
 


David Walsh is a resident of upstate New York, and prefers the rolling hills as part of his environment. He has spent his career in government in some form of information management—a research analyst for the legislature, CIO for the State Education Department, and in management for the State’s information technology department. He lives with his wife near the Mohawk River, outside of Schenectady.

What motivates him to create:
“My poetry often derives from images, whether visual or emotional. My problem comes from lack of discipline, so on a recent vacation, I asked friends to come up with one word each day that I had to use as the core for a poem. “Games” was one of the themes. I enjoy turning words over in different ways to recreate the images for others to imagine. Sometimes it works. Other times, it is just an enjoyable process to satisfy my own creative juices.”