baseball – dream american


the baseball field grasses grow wild, and as you field a ball you trip over a mound of grass in the infield, falling on you knee and scraping it badly.  you get up and make the throw and the runner is OUT and everyone claps and your coach yells.  moving back to shortstop you realize that your pants are ripped on the kneecap and through the hole you can see your scrape, bloody and full of dust.  it stings but you pretend it doesn’t, and soon the next batter is UP and I’m set

hey batta batta batta batta batta SWING batta batta batta batta

he swings

the sun is setting just behind home plate and you have to pull your cap low, squinting

through the chainlink behind home plate there’s a commotion and people are crowding around some guy and yelling “give him room”; through your squinted eyelids peeled open and now the game has stopped, waiting, you take your cap off and hold it above your eyes for more shade, and IT’S DAD (you start towards the fence).  Two steps, three steps, faster with everyone.  Dad is grunting, with his shoulders bunched up by his neck and his arms crossed clutching himself

MOM?

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