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Get ready to hear from northern Illinois’ “prose pros." Poetically Yours airs Fridays during Here and Now at 12:31 and All Things Considered at 6:18 p.m. Hosted by WNIJ Arts Reporter Yvonne Boose, you will hear voices from northern Illinois poets as they share their words about the world around them. This weekly segment will give you a moment of pause and reflection as your wind down the week. If you would like to submit a poem for consideration, please send submissions to yboose@niu.edu

Poetically Yours Ep. 54 - Green Fields Are Calling

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Welcome to Poetically Yours. Poetically Yours showcases poems by northern Illinois poets. This week features Mary Caskey.

Caskey is a retired educator and has two books of poems, one self-published and one by Wing Publications.

Today she is sharing her poem “Dilemma.”

When goldfinch flirt with forsythia

in the spring of the year, and even black crows

change their tone, I’m seized by dread.

An anemic white ball and a long skinny club

that claims the power of titanium begin their seduction.

I always get a good score the first time out.

That sets the trap. That’s the needle:

I’m hooked into five full hours

of weekly frustration in herbicide Hades,

grit in my hair, sweat-drenched glove,

catcalls from players who think I’m slow,

stranded in a storm shed,

whiffs near a watching pro, stagnant water hazards,

balls dribbling off the tee, goose poop on my shoes,

just plain torture, on spikes.

The alternative? Hours of reading

near rose-breasted grosbeak and call of cardinals;

listening, my husband’s one-person audience,

to his stroke-by-stroke replays;

walking for companionship, watching fireflies

with a twinge of anxiety over Friday’s game.

But, then again, there is practicing in twilight,

ending a round with friends

who remember only the good strokes,

the plunk of a successful putt,

lush green fairways that could frame lofty drives,

knowing the next shot may be the big one.

Dilemma.

  • Yvonne Boose is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.