Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Playing Mushball: Poetic Pause

Magazine article Phi Kappa Phi Forum

Playing Mushball: Poetic Pause

Article excerpt

Come into the yard, toss the home-ball my mother stitched, tight around a globe of socks with glue that sweats the leather's seams like sap along a bark of spruce. Watch the ball bounce through limericks of wind, language-loose, as if it groans in couplets, poem to ground, its weight of bulging lungs about to burst and let out air. And where the bat cracks the sock-ball's hide, a smush of innards tugging this to that, watch it rise, half in fright, half in sky, to reach what little height the kiss of any stick to ball might give inspired flight. So scuffed the grains of its face, so bleak the eye that centers it in sight. Comes quick a child's gloved hand to shag it, stab and cradle it fast as it runs the foul line's course through dirt and grass, and landing fair, stops short of understanding how it wiggled past. Now the aging softball swing turns slow when mush has changed to horse's hide, and base lines, chalked to rising poles, fence in tight, the ball's free spirit, in whose homerun glide the swiftness of ascent is gone, the focus lost, and cries are heard forever. …

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