The Catch of the Evening
When the gully breeze bustled through the gums
skimming the heat from the day
we bowled out of the house
and set up stumps under the blue gum.
As always, the catches were what mattered.
Mum’s was the first.
She glanced up from yanking a thistle out of the hardened pitch
and plucked the ball from the air.
Jack caught me out on the full
ball clasped tight against his chest
his whoops and air-punches claiming more skill than he displayed.
Dad didn’t even get a look in
with his collection of one-hand-one-bounces
but I caught him mid-air with a spectacular leap from atop the slide.
Then, as the mosquitos herded us indoors,
I turned to grab the stumps and saw the uncontested winner.
Our blue gum. It had caught the moon
and was holding it triumphantly
in the crook of a branch.
by Kristin Martin