The Quotable


The boy has never caught a ball like this

but, ten years old, he’s sure: he’ll catch it

over his shoulder – just like Mays, he thinks,

in the photo; like Mays. He glides

towards the fence of the field behind his house;

the poorly-watered grass’s scent, familiar

as peanut butter, persists. The ball descends.


Twenty years later and miles away, as he walks

to the commuter bus stop, a cloud moves on

somewhere behind him. The leaves brighten

and his back grows warm.  He feels found out,

as when his mom would say why read in the dark?

and turn on his lamp, and he’d smile to himself,


much as he smiles and looks at the clouds now,

apparently trying to hold their pose, a moment

changing slowly enough to catch like a ball

hit deep but still in the park, leather on leather

on outstretched hand’s attentive flesh and bone.

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