Recreation Facility Fort Myer

The best, cheapest bowling alley around

lies two minutes from the hip part of town
on the base where the players are young wives
or office workers or neighbors who prize
a good deal. It escapes the latest trends,
the only point of which is that they end.
It’s been here for decades, unlike the bars
that rise and fall between our frequent wars.
Sometimes a youthful customer changes
from clumsy boots to flimsy rental shoes
and sends a house ball crashing down the lane
with a smile that seems improbably sane.
But what do I hear except from the news?
It starts perhaps with facts but adds a layer
just to tickle the viewer, not the player
whose second roll takes six pins for a spare.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.