Her pitches loop over home plate
like exhausted planets
fatigued from the weight of gravity.
I pace the dugout back and forth,
more concerned father
than assistant coach.
Worrying more for her performance
than our team box score.
With each pitch I become the ball:
starry-eyed sphere waiting to be belted
into the outfield,
where teammates give chase:
the beginning of lives relying
on the hands of others to get them out of jams,
hands designed to commit errors
through no fault of their own.
Every time a batter misses,
overzealous swings slicing air—
each strike equaling living another day.
And every time she strikes out another man’s daughter,
Now I understand why my father was never to be found
during the last inning of my games,
reappearing just in time to watch the coach
hand out game balls.
Every baseball idiom was created
when a man’s child was on the mound:
Behind in the count.
One base at a time.
It ain’t over till it’s over.
My baby-girl struggles to throw strikes.
The umpire must not have kids.
Everything in life
© by Daniel Romo.
Used with the author’s permission.