George Bilgere

                  The Garage

On these summer nights, I play
Ping-Pong with my brother-in-law,
A couple of beers sweating
On the tool shelf, the Giants game
Coming in loud and clear
On the paint-spattered shop radio,
And tonight I'm working very seriously
On my troublesome forehand,
Giving more concentration than usual
To the problem of topspin.

Today a woman on our street,
Running late for work, backed up
Her SUV and rolled over
Her three-year-old son. All day
I've thought of her as she goes
Through the hours, living in that remote,
Astonishing place she has discovered,
Someplace wholly new
Where few of us have ever ventured,
And as I trot down the driveway
To retrieve an errant smash,
I realize that the sheer speed and pressure
Of her passage out of the world
I'm living in tonight, and into the blazing
Spaces where she is traveling
Far beyond me, like the blue fleck
Of a satellite, utterly alone,
Is what makes the lighted mouth
Of the garage, with its beer and ball game,
Its smell of oil and gas, its cardboard boxes
Of family history, seem like a sweet
Refuge, a cave I return to gratefully,

Holding the white moon of the ball—
A fragile, weightless thing.

George Bilgere, The Good Kiss, University of Akron Press, 2010.