by Daniel Romo

Summers were a never-ending 7th inning,
and games stretched into the next day
when the sun no longer lit the cul-de-sac.

My brother’s knuckleball was an
experiment in flight pattern,
a taunting array of speculation:

                   juking and jutting,
       a hovering slow-dance
                                 inventing new steps
the batter could never learn.

My fastball was a humming blur of rocket science.

And whoever made contact deserved to
commandeer the moon.

The neighborhood kids were filler.

Portuguese soccer-playing
perpetual strikeout victims
always stuck out in right field,
because they were more skilled with their feet
than with their hands.

Today it’s the bottom of the 9th inning.
Two outs.

And we are dreamers posing as fathers
reminding our own children,
“Point your toe to the target.
Keep your elbow up.
And follow through on the pitch.”

Today I remember belting an old tennis ball
over the neighbor’s roof
into his backyard,
gliding around makeshift bases
with glorious fists raised
as if God was pulling our hands. 

PHOTO: “Stickball equipment” by Debbie Dell, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED





“Stickball” is found in Daniel Romo‘s poetry collection ROMANCING GRAVITY, available at