Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Bob Bradshaw

In Love, Wearing Heavy Coats

Wearing heavy coats
as if we had crossed the Bering Straits
we wander through grocery stores
slipping steaks into our pockets.
Sidewalk stalls are a gift.
We come home to plumbing that spits rust
into our sinks.
We take long walks in Central Park,
the night's dome as calm
and as welcoming as a planetarium's.
We scan the papers on the benches
for news of free concerts.
Sometimes we linger
in front of a restaurant
looking through the glass
as if staring into an exotic
aquarium. What must it be like to eat
whenever you want?
Above us is a sky powdered
with stars. Near us a lake,
its water as silky
as a kimono.
We share a red umbrella
the way we do our lives
as we panhandle near the Met,
the mist blurring the stars.
Together we welcome
even the smallest


I want to drop my briefcase
and sit
on a boy's red bike propped
against a bush.
I want to take off on it,
circling the base paths
where I slid head first
into home at ten to a smattering of applause
from the moms in the stands.
I want to fly south
towards the city pool
and the smell of chlorine
in the air. That's where
I learned to stick
my nose underwater like a stork
at six. I want to ride without my hands
on the bars. I want to be a blur
down Main Street. I don't
want to fall though and come home
with my suit shredded
at the knees as if I'd fallen
into a quarry. What
would I say to my wife?
No, maybe I'll bike
to the phosphate pits
where I would slide down
cardboard sleds. Maybe...
and just then a boy stares up
at me. Excuse me, mister,
he says and slips
onto that red bike
and pedals furiously off.
I pick my briefcase up.
How long have I been standing here?
My wife greets me
at our door. "You're late,"
she says. Yeah, I answer,
I was working on something
I should have finished
a long time

©2005 by Bob Bradshaw

Bob Bradshaw is a programmer living in Redwood City, California. Recent work of his can be found at Paumanok Review, Subtle Tea, Fifth Street Review, VLQ(Smorgasboard), Slow Trains, and Red River Review, among other publications. He is a big fan of the Rolling Stones, although you wouldn't know it from the moss gathering on him.

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