45. Rebuilding Year

After Beloit I went back to the paper

and wrote arts features for eight dollars an hour,

and lived in the Gem Building, on the block between

Topeka High with its Gothic tower

and the disheveled Statehouse with its green

dome of oxidizing copper.

I was sorry that I had no view

of old First National. Something obscured it

from my inset balcony. I heard it

imploding, though, like Kansas Avenue

clearing its throat, and saw the gaudy brown

dust-edifice that went up when it came down.

Friday nights I walked to High’s home games

and sat high in the bleachers,

and tried to look like a self-knowing new

student, and tried not to see my teachers,

and picked out players with familiar names

and told them what to do.

— Eric McHenry

Eric McHenry received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his first book of poems, Potscrubber Lullabies (Waywiser Press, 2006). Waywiser will publish Eat Your Trees, his collection of children’s poems with woodcuts by Nicholas Garland, in 2011. McHenry teaches creative writing at Washburn University.

2 thoughts on “45. Rebuilding Year

  1. I can really relate to this piece and I suspect that a good many other people can as well. Great title since it both applies to the team the author is watching and this often painful “season” in one’s life!

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