There's No Crying in Poetry

by Bill Yarrow

"There's no crying in poetry. There's
no crying in poetry!" says Coach
Bukowski, barnacle-gnarled,
stomping on the ground behind
third base. But the poetry pitcher
is crying, the poetry catcher is
sobbing, the poetry short stop is
bawling, the poetry center fielder
is doubled over, weeping bitterly.
Bukowski shakes his head. Jesus,
how the hell did I wind up here?
He yells, "Hey! There's no crying
in fucking poetry! Ya hear me?"
But no one on the poetry team
is listening.

                    But in the beer garden
across the street, the bar poets,
looking up, are waving their gloves
at the ball sailing towards them.
They stretch their hands above
their heads and call out

                                   "I got it!"

                "No, I got it!"

                            "I said, I got it!"

Then they collide and lie like kinks in a
tangled hose. The ball lands and takes a
bad hop, hits the barmaid smack on the lip.
"Don't you cry. Don't you dare," she hears
Bukowski saying, and, though it really hurts,
and though she really wants to, she doesn't.