Life is a Game of Baseball
My family is an inning when the team
bats around, all nine up and just three down
even if we leave the bases loaded
even if three whiffed or grounded weakly
out to short, at least three came home; all nine
made the shorthand version of the cross
and knocked the dirt off their cleats with bats
and rectified their helmet brims
and open shut the Velcro on their gloves
and spat, and looked out at the bureaucrat
who leaned in from the mound, and tucked their chins
and flapped their elbows tightly to their sides
and listened for the banging on the dugout rail.
Arthur Russell's first chapbook was "Unbent Trumpet" (Nutley Arts Press 2017). His poem "The Whales Off Manhattan Beach" won the 2015 Brooklyn Poets Smackdown, and was anthologized in Brooklyn Anthology, Paterson Literary Review (Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award HM 2015) and Bettering American Poetry. His poems have recently appeared in Copper Nickel and Glimmer Train (#106).