Friday, June 22, 2012


by John Flynn

This day Old Sol  hides. The        
count stands three and one.               
You stare in, take the sign,
stretch, and let fly.
Your leather target  explodes
in dust and thunder.
A minor deity erupts and pumps.
“Strike two,” he scalds.

You get it back.
Thumb the herringbone seam,
roll it in the palms of your hands.    
All the senses feast.
Sweat it, stain it, dry it with dirt.
Rub it smooth.
Make it stick.

Late inning overcast absconds. 
You are Zeus in sunshine.
The orb of the earth is    
in your hand. You conjure up
players and saints. Gehrig, Dimaggio,                                                                                                                                                            
Whitey Ford, Emily Dickinson,
Christ, what a poem!

Down to one pitch. Throw harder
than you’ve ever thrown before.
Make it smoke.

Your leather target explodes
in dust and thunder.

He didn’t even see it
leave your hand,
but heard the thunder.  

~ first published in the Minneapolis Observer Quarterly