The Corral, 1999 Page: 20
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I think about baseball today
sitting on this tractor in a lonely field.
The sun emerges from the east
a blazing home run shot.
It hangs in the sky, poised mid-air,
an opponent's home run sinking into
deep left-center field of the west as I plant oats,
leaving that brown trail behind me.
The day wears on and I cuss
the coach who didn't think I was good enough
to make the travel squad even though I worked
so hard, so many weeks, for this one game.
So now I'm here on this old Case,
my teammates supported by loyal fans on a field
in another county, me supported by a tractor seat,
here in a lonely field. The tractor groans ahead.
The drill breaks and I climb down, removing
the twisted bolt. I turn and chunk it as far as I can,
throwing the runner out at home plate. "You're out."
It's true. The bolt lands kicking up dust.
I wonder if the horse will be grateful next year,
munching on the oats I've planted, glad for my
toil this blazing hot Saturday, grateful for this labor
when I could have been at the plate,
bottom of the ninth with a dream and a swing,
hoisted to my team's shoulders. Instead
I hoist myself on a tractor and begin the lives
of thousands of tiny oats. They cheer me on as I
lurch forward in this field of wrong dimensions.
Here’s what’s next.
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Hardin-Simmons University. The Corral, 1999, periodical, 1999; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth109488/m1/22/: accessed May 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hardin-Simmons University Library.