Some said it was the break, impossible to read,
as if a sudden breeze grabbed it by the neck,
spinning it east or west before shoving it
south into gravity’s mouth. Impossible to read,
they said. More than impossible to hit.

Still, I dug myself in, armed with years of
practice swings and enough broken bats
to make me wise about such things. I locked
my eyes on hers searching for a clue, ready for
that pitch others had swung through.

Ah, but love is not a game, not for those
who lose. The heart in heat always flies to
the farthest fence. Never mind the sun
in your eyes, the thinning crowd, afternoon
shadows creeping across the mound.

She took her signs from one I could not see,
one who knew the score still oblivious to me.
Then kicked her leg and cocked her arm
all with a care-free sigh. Then disappeared without
a trace as I watched her final pitch sail by.

(first published in The Westchester Review)