This April afternoon I sit on the bleachers,
the sun warm to my back. Out on the field
the kids cheer and jeer. At home plate, a batter waggles,
swings, Thwack! The ball rifles
between the pitcher and first baseman.
The hitter tears to first, is safe;
waits as the next batter steps to the plate.
Fans hush. Every eye is on the pitcher
who casually checks first, spits a brown stream
into the red dirt, ball in glove bends low
while peering intently at the catcher, nods,
winds up, hurls a white blur toward home plateó
A sudden breeze sends hotdog wrappers skittering
across the field. A dust devil swirls behind the second baseman.
Another thwack! The ball arcs high into the bleachers.
From a nearby street a siren screams. Car horns blare.
Brakes screech. The runner slides into second, stands,
beats a red cloud from his knees with his cap. Fans stand,
fists punching into the sulfur-tinged air, scream.
white vapor rises from the several smokestacks,
jutting from the sprawling factory nestled
below the mountain where the river splits.
The next batter takes a cut, misses.
The runner is half-way to third. The catcher fires the ball
to third, misses wide. The runner rounds third,
races home. Fans roar,
The siren's wail has become faint. The dust devil is gone.