Nine Holes at the Elks Club

My father pulled me along with the cart,
the irons and woods rattling, leather socks
hooded like monk’s cowls. I enjoyed playing
with the multi-colored Ts, sticking them
in the soft earth, but the balls themselves,
dimpled, glossed with promise, held the early
morning light. Dad gave me a cast-off, cut
and grass-stained, to put in my pocket, to roll
across the green while he lined up a putt.
He preferred the course before work,
the sun climbing, the dew untouched.
Soon, the day would become too busy
for a father and son, his wing-tipped spikes
            holding us together.

After 43 years of teaching English in public schools, Al Ortolani lives a life without bells and fire drills in the Kansas City area. He walks regularly with his rescue dog Stanley. Stanley is mostly non-verbal, but he appears to enjoy the sentiment in a well-voiced poem.

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