I set the ball the size of a clenched fist
on the tee.
Our front lawn is Fenway Park.
My daughter plays her first game in three weeks:
the beginning of where my junior college dreams
Keep your eye on the ball.
Hold your hands high.
Swing all the way through the zone.
Her kindergarten teacher says she’s the top reader
in the class because she remembers
Coach said I’d never make it because I lacked
Her blood is pyre and pine tar.
Her follow through a brilliant spark,
a concerted crack condemning my elbow
for not getting out of the way fast enough,
destroying it like remedial sight words
assessed her first days of school.
Today I’m going to the doctor.
The swelling has not gone down.
But I’m glad she made contact.
Swinging and missing
runs in my family,
even when the ball’s set
right on the tee,
like a flaming apple
glowing on the edge
of a teacher’s desk.
(originally published here)