Back In Little League
A field of grass, runways sanded and topped
with four cream bases waiting to be scuffed
brown by laced cleats and hand palms. And a mound
ten inches in height for where the pitcher stands
makes the foundation of what structures man,
or breaks him.
Back unswerving, right kneecap locked in tight,
north side of pitcher’s wrist settled snug near hip.
A runner on first teasing towards second
and a baseball’s red stitching puzzle piecing
the conjoining ridges in the pitcher’s
palmistry. With a choice; look left, pitch forward.
Winds up, raises knee,
pitch zings high left corner.
From first, runner flees,
darts towards second base.
Pitcher never looked left.
His father complains, “You always look left!”
“Know your surroundings! “You always look left!”
Next year, pitcher, the backseat passenger
of his dad’s four door compact, took impact
from a diesel on the farm-to-market road
that T’d with the driveway. Father was fine.
Pitcher hooked to machines holding his last breaths on lines in a box.
Dad’s tears puddled the crevices of the hospital bed’s blanket.
/\ / \
/ \ /\ / \ /\
___/ \_/ \__/ \___/\_/ \__ “Why didn’t you look left?” ________________________