The Pitch

July 13, 1993|By Cynthia J. Symancyk

Up at bat, he tries to poise

fierce and fearless,

breathing fire,

like a tiger crouched before the

kill; but beneath the mane and

striped coat I see

a church mouse quiver,

cornered, dreading the upraised

paw and impending


I want to say, just

shed your fur and fangs, and

laugh! In gym class, always,

I struck out, swinging awkwardly

like that albatross of Baudelaire's

which soared through skies and


but blundered, slow, on land.

The panting, passionate,

pathetic swings

which fed the catcher's glove and wit

(and lulled the fielders all to sleep)

sufficed to spark a merry verse

and light a poet's smile.

-- But up at bat, he is not smiling.

His brow furrowed, his eyes level,

his hands clenched fast

to a single prayer,

he stands within this diamond

where he

wants his dreams to fly.

And while from the stands I watch

the purple shadows dance

like elves across the field,

from the plate he only eyes

a small, white ball hurtling

toward him like a flash of


The bridge rising swift across

the gulf, I rush at last

to the fence, cheering for

the church mouse to stand tall

and the tiger to roar

and my brother to get a hit.

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