The Art of Self-Hitting

In an empty house,
The poet sits alone
Listening to the still of night
As the plants about him breathe.

He pictures a barren yard,
A boy alone,
With Wiffle bat and ball,
pretending to be accompanied
By a friend.

He sees a crowd in a frenzy,
Popcorn, beer…
As he watches the delivery,
Time freezes.

A tree in center field ties his roots
In a spider’s web and an ant hill’s home.

The batter swings and connects,
The ball flies, the fans cheer,
The sky remains blue,
It is caught,
A can of corn, a routine play, made by a pro.

The gum he chews he found in a pack of cards,
He snaps it and blows a bubble for effect.

It’s still light but the innings mount,
More beer, soda, pretzels,
Smell those dogs –
“Let’s play two.”

Watch him pitch to no one but the planter’s wall.
A strike zone like no other,
Umpired by the same eye who throws,
The same ear who listens,

On the outside corner,
“Strike three!”

– What a game –


“Darn, dinner’s ready.”

~ Dan Cafaro, July 13, 1992

[Poetry Break Editor Note]

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