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Playing Catch
Richard Allen Taylor


Watch this kid. He throws the ball

across the plate, chases it to the backstop,

hurries back to the pitcher’s mound,

throws the ball again and again, shouting

gentle encouragements.


A munchkin in a Yankees cap, she just stands there,

never swings the bat,  shows no interest in hitting.  

He keeps throwing the ball as if it’s his job

to be the angel that refuses

to let her be unappreciated or unloved.


I try to remember what it was like

to be learning the fundamentals—

love, heartbreak, sacrifice.


This kid makes all his errors

on the giving side, and I root for him.


This poem first appeared in Wild Goose Poetry Review, 2010.
Used here with the author's permission.


Richard Allen Taylor lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a Regional Human Resources Manager for a retail automotive dealership group. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Taylor, having no idea he might someday want to be a poet, passed up an opportunity to double major in psychology and English because he did not care to enroll in the two semesters of poetry required for the English degree. After dabbling in poetry in his late 20s and early 30s, he abandoned poetry completely until, encouraged by friends, he picked up the pen again in his 50s. His first poems were published in 2002. Since then, his poetry has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies and he has two books to his credit.


Post New Comment:
yes, the 'fundamentals'; instant tears for my grandchildren; lovely poem. Judy
Posted 06/03/2013 01:30 PM
Does this take me back? Oh, yes!
Posted 06/02/2013 02:57 PM
Posted 06/01/2013 10:52 PM
Wilda Morris:
Love it!
Posted 06/01/2013 10:13 PM
Donna Pflueger:
All I can say is WOW! Incredible words - powerful poem. Thank you.
Posted 06/01/2013 09:35 PM
Sweet words!
Posted 06/01/2013 09:12 PM
This is touching and beautiful.
Posted 06/01/2013 08:00 PM

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