Baseball in Connecticut by Carol A. Amato

Baseball in Connecticut

I knew the feeling as well as any boy
hunched over home plate, a flat rock,
legs apart, left in front, bend the knees,
bat back and hands choked up a lot
(the bat was never kid-sized)
hat low squinting against the glare
silent six-word metronome ticking
keep your eye on the ball
keep your eye on the ball.

Bases loaded.
Timmy’s hard-ball pitch the same as
when he hurled rocks in our rock fight
wars at Red Rock Quarry still aiming
more for the head than over the plate.

For every concussion he ever
gave my little brother
I swung on the first count,
the crack
electric sting in my palms
the whirl of frayed ball
over the splintered benches
and me sliding to home
a girl
gladly eating dirt.

by Carol A. Amato

Editor’s Note: The narrative voice of this poem combines the adult with the girl, and hooks the reader into the triumphant home run.