Homer

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.

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