“The disabled group check in at alley 8”
the intercom blares into the black cave of
acid rock and pulsating neon lights

my son peers at the
bowling balls in the dark
chooses with care
lifts one rolls it down the alley
then turns away
not caring how it ends

walks back to his friends who yell look look
but he does not watch his strike
or the scoreboard flash his name

a horn beeps congratulations
but he and I don’t care

because our first choice
long ago is what matters.
How it ends I will not see.

Joan Goodreau’s recent works are Where to Now?, Strangers Together: How My Son’s Autism Changed My Life, and Another Secret Shared. Joan is a Pushcart nominee and a recipient of the Hedgebrook Writing Residence Program. Her work has appeared in numerous reviews and anthologies in North America.