The Golden Arm

He's a year older than me
but somehow none the wiser.
We all call him Kid
like any apprentice
and try not to let him
lace up for failure.

"I'll bet you coffee break tomorrow
that I can get one of these two apple cores
in that dumpster," he proposes
as the three of us sit in the 9:13 shade
finishing cigarettes and stories of prior greatness.
I take a look at the distance
gauge the trajectory
and mentally count the bills in my wallet.

He sinks the first
then the second just as easily.
"Looks like I'm buying
next Friday, too,"
I say, feigning disappointment.

The Kid, two inches taller
laughs triumphantly
as I toss my butt
to the curb.

That's what it's about sometimes:
Taking a bet
you know that you'll lose
to someone who hasn't
knocked one over the fence
in too long.

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