Baseball Love

The muscles in my legs work hard
to carry me to the end where
the field meets the trees.

I hear dried leaves crunch beneath my weight
before I soar like a clownish dancer
and stretch to capture the ball.

It ricochets off one lone birch tree
bent forward like a catcher
and then it thumps hard into the earth.
It is wet and painted with blades of grass
when I bend to retrieve it.

I hear laughter far behind me.
He is clasping his stomach, flat on the grass.
His hair is wildly woven with mouse brown leaves.

I wind up, glaring out across the open,
emerald field, embrace my mitt
and send the ball whirring through the air
that divides us.

I hear that perfect pop as he catches it
without rising from his curled position on the grass.

I sink to my knees and laugh and
laugh and smell the high grass
now cradling my body as well.
The summer earth is heated and inviting.

It embraces my body as I embraced the ball
and will soon embrace my lover
who is crawling to me, knees wet with dew.

Copyright © 2002 Carrie Ryman • All rights reserved.