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ED TATO

 

 

 

mEd Tato has lived across the US, on a wagon train and in New Zealand. He lives, for now, in Coburg, Victoria, Australia. By most standards, Ed is over-educated, under-employed and the face of the new economy. His two poetry collections are available online. Some of his poems abide there, as well, or in various print journals.

 

 

 

 

The Boys of Summer

 

Technically it’s still summer,

though football season starts today.

 

Clouds break apart.

The sun gives only light.

Leaves redden at the edge

of one limb of a dying oak out back.

All maples are green, full,

dappled by sudden light

and renewed

winds.

 

Two boys run from the flat next door

swinging a baseball bat

and a blue-bladed spade.

They whack

a giant stuffed giraffe

shoved ass-end into a trash can.

 

Four boys stomp

up the alley.

They rip wife-beaters off

bodies more sinew than muscle.

 

A boy

rushes them.

He wields the spade —

with a hitch in his swing —

above his head, perpendicular

to skinny boy arms raised straight up,

like Juan Marichel about to bash Johnny Roseboro’s face.

 

His hands

all scabs and cracked cuticles

and knuckles branded with circular scars.

His ear blistered, burnt

or beaten raw.

 

            ~

 

I was six or seven,

maybe half as old as these kids,

though I don’t remember ever being a boy —

I remember my street-hockey stick and its curved blue blade:

 

it forever swings

at the goalie’s mask,

 

and the goalie forever falls,

crying how bad it hurts, how he can’t hear,

will never hear again.

 

 

©2018 Ed Tato

 

 

Author Links

 

Poetry Says Podcast "Ed Tato on poems that must be spoken"

"Beer Bottle Bird" in Two Hawks Quarterly

An Ed Tato poem in Monday Night Journal

 

 

 

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