Two Poems, Big Wins

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.


Weak Arm


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.



Wild Pitch


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.

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