Important Things To Do

How miraculous it is that in a place like this
you could possibly exist—so real with your almost blonde hair
and purple dress too big and wide wide hat you must have chosen yourself and
here you are just maybe five or eight? And here you are walking
not fifteen steps behind your mother and you are walking just alone
not noticing my flat tired bicycle because who cares about my bicycle?
So real that you’re just looking and thinking and not seeing
almost anything you could get lost around here could
trip and break an arm or get stolen or step on a crack and
here you are just watching where the grass meets the sidewalk.
There’s some gorgeous game in your mind—I know because I played it.
I played it just like you darling darling darling I knew you. I know
what you’re doing and you are incredible. Your little hands
and tapping fingers and words just beneath your little mouth
little one you forgot to brush your hair this morning but so did I so
did I. You know that rushing legs and wheels like these will step around you
skirt by you because dear you have things to do dear you have
the important things to do.


The Pierre diamond is the best in central South Dakota. Looks
almost right out over the Missouri. So new the bench paint is almost wet.
It is summer already. The infield is speckled dandelions.
Nobody’s not oiling a mitt.
Since third grade whole town’s known who’s best.
Humble kid only pitches now, these heavy fluorescent evenings,
gives younger ones a chance. Sometimes, when the kid’s shadow
splits in four around the mound, kid looks like a real Bambino.
She comes on the warmest days. Brings her own bat, even.
She’s easy in the light and they don’t screw with her.
Pitcher waits for her to spit, to wipe her nose, then sends one
straight her way. Strong simple swing whips round. No contact.
Easier this time, kid thinks. Outfielders take subtle steps toward home.
She grips that bat and blasts the thing spinning out the field.
People will say they saw the ball bobbing down to Iowa.
Shocked, nice kids erupt, feign fainting, whoop and whoop —
Damn glad to watch her jogging, shyly, prettily home.
Not the first homer they’ve seen this week, but damn, this GIRL!
Pierre summers hit you hard and heavy and go quick.
Pierre summers leave you crying behind chain link.

Better Places

Someone should tell that man with the camera that there are better places than this pond.
This pond where people are always picking up after their dogs. The man with the camera
Should know that there are beaches not made of cement. What the hell is he doing with that
telephoto—as if he’ll wait long enough to catch a cougar across the way. Best he’ll get
is a grayish owl that anyone away from this place heard yesterday morning and the morning
before that. Someone should tell him that there are places beyond this place and this sparkling expanse
isn’t anything special. The rumble of the highway drowns out the birds anyways—he
couldn’t even find them if they were there. Sneakers and strollers should stop gathering around him, straining
their eyes, thinking he’s found something fantastic—an Eagle! It must be?
Someone should stop him from this invention. You live nowhere spectacular.