How Baseball Saved My Marriage By Kristen Lindquist
One happy hour drink in Orono and now I'm driving
up the Penobscot just for kicks, past the bridge to Indian Island,
past the just-closed Georgia Pacific plant, tidy yards
of Milford, "Place of a Million Parts" junkyard,
the drink still warm in my belly, the strong, true edge of things
glowing with rich clarity in the late summer, late afternoon light.
Dylan's tangled up in blue on the radio, dozens of migrating
nighthawks flit over fields along the river, crickets shrill
in tall grass, window draft tickles my tan shoulders.
Later tonight, the Red Sox will win with another Big Papi
walk-off homer that will make me whoop to myself in the car.
But for now, I'm moving through Olamon, Passadumkeag,
away from the river, into the woods. It's the end of a long day,
but there still seems to be plenty of time and road ahead.
Something about the light, the beauty of the sky, makes me think
I should keep going right on to northern Maine, all the way
to Canada. I could just keep driving all night, potato fields
north of Houlton balancing the dark outside my car windows,
lights across the St. John beckoning me over the border.
I've got a full tank of gas, credit cards in my wallet. I could
drive all the way to Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island,
stay in some quaint inn on a craggy coast, walk low beaches
in search of sandpipers heading south from the Arctic.
How far north do roads go? But it grows late, shadows deepen,
and so far from home, I realize I don't know the station
broadcasting tonight's game. So it's finally baseball
that curbs my sudden wanderlust. It's the simple pleasure
of a good game coming up that makes me turn around
to re-enter the bubble of radio reception, to start
the long drive back to everything familiar and well-loved.
"How Baseball Saved My Marriage" by Kristen Lindquist, from
Transportation. © Megunti Cook Press, 2011