A FEAR OF THE BALL

He snapped his head

just before

the ball hit the plate,

a fuzzy mass

that might have sprung

from centerfield

or at the edge of vision,

sucking him

into a sequence of angles

turned in on themselves.

 

No matter

what he told himself

or the steps of thought

he measured to that point,

it happened.

His head shot up and held

like a deer

cast in headlights.

 

He could feel his eyes

wrap it all inside.

He could hear the smack smack

of the second baseman’s glove,

the infield bleating,

“Hey babe hey babe hey babe.”

 
 
 
 
 

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