Now that the Mets are in the middle of a seventeen-game stretch with no days off, I better not get behind in my poem count.
I owe two today, so here are two bad poems about trying to play baseball as a kid when you’re not very good at it.
Also, the Mets keep killing it. Walker hit his ninth homer in April last night, which ties a Mets club record. And my dad and I are going to Citi Field for a game against the Braves next Monday. That’ll be my first poem and post from the stadium.
I’m in left field, and the batter smacks
a fly ball that goes up above the brim
of my hat, which is the tell-tale sign
to run back, back toward the wall,
and the ball lands ten steps behind me
and I haven’t got an arm like Mike does
so I flip it to him and he hurls the ball in
to the cutoff. A run scores,
and in the dugout the kids jeer me
for not making the throw myself,
and I want to tell them that I just don’t
have the stuff that they do
but instead I sit alone on the bench
and wait until the game is done,
picking at the leather laces of my mitt.
And my brother picks me up
when the game ends, and the big lights
shut off, the scoreboard flickers
and dims, and while his engine idles
and he waits, I count some stars
while I shuffle across the lot
to the sound of little kids biking home.
I’m standing in the batter’s box
with wobbly knees, helmet clamped on
which makes my heartbeat pound in my ears
and the pitch comes in at my head and I duck
but clank! the ball hits off my bat anyway
and rolls fair and the catcher throws to first
and I’m out. The ump won’t toss the pitcher
for headhunting and I’m sitting in the dirt,
tears in my eyes, wondering why
I’m out for ducking, for saving my own head,
but them’s the rules of the game,
and as the other team runs off the field
in victory, I sit in the damp clay.