Pitching woo

Absent so long from the mound,
can I even find the plate?

The ball feels strange in my aging hand.
The ump looks me over like I got nothin.’
I believe him by more than half.

I perceive the strike zone as
from a great distance receding.
It is small as a needle’s eye,
thin as onion skin,

surrounded by the vast
universe of possible balls:
high or low,
wide or inside.

Yet you have stepped into the box,
shouldering your bat —
a Louisville slugger,
Northern white ash — as if

on a dare,
or a memory
of long-ago days when we
rounded these bases

full tilt and willing
to hit away, to strike out,
to slide;
to risk.

We eye each other now
along this invisible line
that might connect us,

the question suspended
like a long fly ball:

Hey, batter, batter, hey:
Will you swing,
will you swing,
if I pitch well enough?





  1. A great metaphor for so many relationships.


    1. Thanks, Russ. “Pitching woo” is a wonderful phrase, all the more for being so gently antiquated.


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