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The Afterlives of Ted WIlliams
By David Hickey

Picture them,
seventy-five years from now,
nine old men standing
in a New Brunswick river,
arguing over lures,
keeping their dogs company,
casting line after
line to infinity, pulling up
the descendants of
salmon their father never
caught, each one hung
on the line, scooped up
as if in a baseman's glove.

Picture them on Father's Day,
gathered in a laboratory,
watching him lean like a bat
left in snow, each of them
a strand of DNA more
intricate than a carefully-tied
fly, disliking the way
his eyes look like ice cubes
left at the bottom
of a glass. And then,
at family reunions, flats
of beer cooling

at his feet,
excited uncles posing
on either side, their wives
clicking away while
small children press sweaty
faces to the chamber,
watch as the snowman

disappears in a fog
of breath, their open mouths
blowing curious o's
round as scoreless innings.


DAVID HICKEY's poems have appeared in journals and magazines across Canada. He keeps score in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he shares a home field with fellow knuckleballer Kristina Bresnen, a Montréal native and longtime Expos fan.

© 2005 David Hickey


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