French Fries, Fear, and Lane 28 

Beth Curran

My daughter doesn’t want to bowl.

She’s 5 and wears that age well.

She’s terrified of the marbled pink 

bowling ball that that her big sister

holds in front of her.

Like an invitation to a Hollywood soiree,

she waltzes around her, swinging it in the air,

showing her the beauty and ease of it all.

Trying to make her see

that all things heavy or unbearable 

don’t always have a bad reputation

like dinosaurs, thunderstorms, crashing waves, 

and broken hearts.

Finally, when they say, “Last call

for French fries and Coca-Cola

and lane number 28,”

she grips that ball with two hands

and approaches the edge of the lane.

I hold my breath, 

as she lets go. 

Beth Curran has been teaching high school English for 21 years in Florida and strives to incorporate poetry into the daily lives of teenagers in order to insert a little magic into their lives. Her poetry focuses on the everyday wonders and mysteries of being a woman, a wife, a mother, and a New England girl at heart. For the past few summers, she has been attending conferences and workshops at The Frost Place, tucked away in the mountains in Franconia, New Hampshire. She has been chosen to serve as their 2019 Schafer Teaching Fellow.