Jul/Aug 2013 Poetry Special Feature

Hitting Slump

by Bob Bradshaw

Digital artwork by Adam Ferriss

Digital artwork by Adam Ferriss

Hitting Slump

Four weeks ago
I was like a man with money
in his pocket on a Saturday night.
I looked forward to every at bat.

Now I have no command
over my fate. Overwhelmed,
I could be playing in the Arctic League,

a hitter with snow blindness,
the pitches flying at me out of a blizzard.

Nightfall is just as hard. Under towers of lights
I'm still a chimp swinging a stick.

Superstitious, my team mates avoid me. No one touches
the water cooler if I have touched it.
No one hands me my cursed bat.

What is my excuse? Bone spurs in my elbow?
Knees that ache like migraines?

What can I do?
I spend my free time in confessionals.
I light candles. I pray to saints.

Alone at the end of the bench,
I wait for my curse to be lifted. I pray
for hits to fall in the outfield grass,

to leap like hares into the gaps.
I would trade a year off my life
to be what I was a mere

month ago.


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