Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bats Right, Throws Left

I came down from the mountains
a devout S.F. Giants fan, thanks
to radio and the Sacramento Bee.

I came down from the mountains
never having played pee-wee,
Little League, Legion, or Babe Ruth ball.
I was a baseball immigrant.

I batted left because my brother
Sven, a leftie, taught me to hit. I'd
become what I'd learn was a
dead-pull-hitter.  And
I had a glove from the Montgomery
Ward catalog.  So in high school,

I could hit the cut-off man, catch
a fly, charge a base-hit, and bunt.
At bat I was afraid of the ball:
No, not quite right. Conceptually,
I hadn't found evidence that one
shouldn't be afraid of the ball,
especially after team-mate Eddie,
nicest guy but wild, drilled me twice
in the back.  Still, I went three-
for-three one bright Spring day,
with a base-on-balls, runs scored.

But out in right field, a pasture
made for me, I often drifted
mentally, considered slipping
away ("Slip away, slip away ...").

Someone would hit a liner out
there. Manager, teammates,
and the sprinkling of fans would
say, Hey, where's the right-fielder?

And I'd be lying down with a brown
woman in a blonde meadow, or
taking a midnight train to Rome,
or writing this poem.

--Hans Ostrom 2012
Post a Comment