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So You'd Better Pay Attention photo

Seven years old and can’t tie a shoe,

he grabs his mitt

and asks to shag flies.

The Little League championship

is on the line tomorrow.


“Throw grounders now, dad.”

He gobbles them up, whips ‘em back,

all gameface and dives a day early.


He struggles catching to his left, refuses

to just open up and stick his mitt

out to his left. He tries it

at last and of course it works—

his eyes go nova. “Again!”

And I throw it again & again.


I don’t tell him I’m going to

and I heave one high.


Later I’ll tell him that in baseball

you never know where the ball 

will go so you have to be ready

for anything because you only know 

that it will be pitched. You 

have to wait, only knowing that

eventually the ball will take flight and

cruise like a Tomahawk

at a first-grader.

Eventually it all will take flight and

cruise like an asteroid

at you.


He squinted into the June sun.

He parsed cloud and maple leaf

and the pinpoint of baseball


period then iris then nickel then 



Then a cloud of dust

popped from his mitt

and drifted away,