Spares, Strikes, and Extra Olives By Tobi Alfier

Spares, Strikes, and Extra Olives

Tammy-Lynn worked forty hours a week
at Chandler’s Bowl and Bar. Shitty job,
smelly shoes, sideways looks of pity
on the faces of women who were once
cheerleaders at her high school, now moms
in matching shirts, teams with silly names,
leagues that should be named “Martini”
‘cause that’s what they did—drink themselves
stupid once a week, then call their husbands
to leave the kids for just a minute,
come pick this big kid up. All blonde
with twelfth-grade curls and the same blue
eyeshadow that nabbed their husbands
twenty years ago, the only difference
between then and now is “Playtex”
ain’t a girdle no more, cussing
don’t send your ass to detention,
and there’s better cheap perfume to steal
at multiple choices of drug-store.
Drunk or driving through Dairy Queen sober,
no one remembers just who the quarterback
was, or what exactly happened under the bleachers
the night the team won the championship…
Only poor Mr. James, still sweeping up
the detritus of birth control gone wrong,
knows the answers
to all those small-town questions.

By Tobi Alfier


Tobi Alfier (Cogswell) is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a multiple Best of the Net nominee. Her current chapbooks include “Down Anstruther Way” (Scotland poems) from FutureCycle Press, and her full-length collection “Somewhere, Anywhere, Doesn’t Matter Where” is forthcoming from Kelsay Books. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (

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