Restorational (us, later)

An eighty-five year old man
with a bowling ball in his hand
stamps down a wooden lane
way past the foul line.
At last he lets the thing go
literally dropping it to the floor.
The ball tries to bounce, fails,
thinks of rolling a little this way or that
but loses inertia and just stops.
There’s almost perfect silence.
That moment where people in a single place
begin thinking at the same time.
Finally as the old man looks up
from beneath his eye-lids
(two pinkish curves bent like optic fiber)
a voice tells him to get out into the gutter.
Confused, he stands quite still
looks down at the bowling ball
as though it were a dog
and shakes his head so slightly.
The local paper carries a picture of him stood like this
his hairless skull a slight blur
as though the photographer caught
the meaning of senility on film.
The old man considers suing for defamation;
doubts he has the time left.

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