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by
Daniel Romo


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Her pitches loop over home plate
like exhausted planets
fatigued from the weight of gravity.


I pace the dugout back and forth,
more concerned father
than assistant coach.
Worrying more for her performance
than our team box score.


With each pitch I become the ball:
starry-eyed sphere waiting to be belted
into the outfield,
where teammates give chase:
the beginning of lives relying
on the hands of others to get them out of jams,
hands designed to commit errors
through no fault of their own.


Every time a batter misses,
overzealous swings slicing air—
a reprieve,
each strike equaling living another day.
And every time she strikes out another man’s daughter,
I smile.


Now I understand why my father was never to be found
during the last inning of my games,
reappearing just in time to watch the coach
hand out game balls.


Every baseball idiom was created
when a man’s child was on the mound:


Behind in the count.
One base at a time.
It ain’t over till it’s over.


My baby-girl struggles to throw strikes.
The umpire must not have kids.
Everything in life
is hit,
or miss.
 

© by Daniel Romo.
Used with the author’s permission.

 

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Daniel Romo is the author of When Kerosene's Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013) and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013). His poetry can be found in The Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle, MiPOesias, Hobart, and elsewhere. Daniel teaches high school by day, college by night, and lives in Long Beach, CA. Learn more about him at danielromo.net.

New comments are closed for now.
Ross Kightly:
My own baseball career - in the Great South Land Down Under - was pretty undistinguished - like all aspects of my sporting non-life - but the sense of identification with the father's anxieties and love is powerful and poignant in this one. Some of my kids are unaccountably sporty... well, one is, and this poem really strikes home [oops... sorry!]
Posted 03/13/2014 04:03 AM
Glen Sorestad:
What a treat for the day!
Posted 03/12/2014 10:03 AM
Larry Schug:
The last verse of this poem is so fine and the life lesson of dependence on others is right on. The words about the narrator's father, very poignant. Isn't it amazing how so few words can say so much? Ah, poetry!
Posted 03/12/2014 07:50 AM
pwax:
Well-chosen words--starry-eyed spheres,exhausted planets. This poem is a hit.
Posted 03/12/2014 07:16 AM
JanetruthMartin:
positively brilliant in every line...five stars for sure.
Posted 03/12/2014 06:37 AM
Katrina:
This Miss is a hit!
Posted 03/12/2014 06:23 AM
phebe.davidson@gmail.com:
I hate to admit it, but I'm still a sucker for baseball poems! This one gets five stars.
Posted 03/12/2014 05:59 AM


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