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The Last Cricket of the Season

after Elizabeth Bishop

When I catch a cricket's high
autumnal pitch sprung from
among a row of ragged junipers,
my heart seeks out the levelest
and most insistent, homeward
foot and yard to my front door.
On Missouri's warmest days,
these many free and careless
years, I have often paused for
shade under a great oak tree
to observe pairs of doves that
quietly group under this same
line of evergreens. My children
have grown and spread, my
sweetheart is at home stirring
alone a late martini, and cars
roar to the westward freeway
bound for glory and California:
I grow invisible or gray which
is just the same difference as
they say. But this cricket's call
rocks my worldóJimi Hendrix,
Rolling Stones. Though cold
and colder this evening's air, I
can still pitch high, and I can
swing homeward, as if immortal.

Eamonn Wall

Sailing Lake Mareotis
Salmon Poetry / Dufour Editions

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