Your father’s cleats tramp ballfield through the hall,
and you, told to remove your shoes before
you enter the front door, will clean up
the dirt clods and grass blades. Your father’s
beer cans stand at attention on the kitchen counter,
on the tool bench in the garage, and along
the end table next to the couch. When he hammers
your coach, your team, you, about tonight’s performance,
gather up those cans; notice how every drop is gone;
crush them in your hands so they all fit in one
garbage bag. If you don’t remember to hide
your gear, he’ll take your bat to the closet door
again. That door hiding your mother’s clothes and shoes.
Don’t mention her name. Instead, use mine as a mantra.
Cat Dixon is the author of Eva and Too Heavy to Carry (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2016, 2014) and The Book of Levinson and Our End Has Brought the Spring (Finishing Line Press, 2017, 2015). She is the managing editor of The Backwaters Press, a nonprofit press in Omaha. She is the editor of Watching the Perseids: The Backwaters Press Twentieth Anniversary Anthology (BWP, 2017). Her poetry and reviews have appeared in numerous journals including Sugar House Review, Midwest Quarterly Review, Coe Review, Eclectica, and Mid-American Review.