for Mike

You’ve perfected the smooth delivery—
quick, no foam, always with an eye
toward the pitch. A contract, unwritten,
says if we sit here we’ll pass the fiver,
the beer, the change. Drunkard, teetotaler—
we’ve agreed to do our part to pull off
this small act of commerce. We believe
we can change the outcome—lucky shirt,
our absence or presence, this could be
the year if we do what we’re called to,
if only we promise to suit up. And there
you are, working another season just
to watch, damp sawbucks in your apron,
your voice big with what you would give.
Someone waves you over. Go-ahead run
kicks dust from his cleats. Above him
you lower yourself on an obedient knee.


Photo by Samuel Ciaramitaro