To some it is lunacy,
whacking a tiny ball with a club,
ruining a perfectly good lawn.
To others it is religion
the high cathedrals in Scotland
the auld course at St. Andrews,
Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Prestwick.
I am Eben Monroe Atwater
of the Clan Munro
and this game is in my blood.
At five years of age I began,
with cut down clubs fashioned by my pop.
On a New England course built
over glacial moraines I learned the game.
To this day, I can hear my pop saying
“Keep your head down kid, you’re jumping all over it.”
I learned that “Aim for the brook” does not
necessarily involve actually
hitting the ball into the stream:
Drive for show, putt for dough.
Sandies, polies, and short putts
left in the leather.
Later in life, it was our chance to catch up,
with a flask of scotch, cigars
and trash talking thrown in for good measure.
Mom told me that dad always came back happy
from playing, telling her about the flowers
he had seen along the holes.
Pop is gone, so now it is chess on grass,
just me against the course
a bright Texas morning with a good friend.
Of course when I hit a truly good or bad shot
I glance skyward and smile.