Foul Ball

Prose poem first published in Lights #1 zine, from Pleasure Boat Studio, April 2020, page 96. Originally written in March of 2006.       +

The sun cuts through the trees to the side of the left foul line. A twelve-year-old leans forward over home plate, cocked and ready. The pitch hurtles straight down the middle—whack. Curving foul, to the left. A toddler beyond the fence stays crouched on the grass. The pop-up arcs its way down. At the last minute a man lunges. He does not try to make the catch but thrusts himself over the boy. He takes the ball hard in his back, then his momentum carries him past the toddler and he falls with a howl onto the grass. The toddler looks up, a plucked dandelion in his pudgy hand.