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Growing Sweet

by Jacob Winterstein

I am running to the baseball field by myself

 

where I want to be the green cage back stop.

No ball gets past the back stop.

Between games, I am throwing my glove,

trying to knock down the ones stuck on the top

while my father mends a hole where the chain link meets the ground.

 

Growing sweet on the fence

next to the rust red storage containers

are the honeysuckles.

 

I am picking the yellow ones,

the sweetest of the bunch,

gently pulling the flowers apart.

 

I am the honeysuckle

and its sweet, delicate bubble

that I bring to my lips.

 

I am my lips

water-ice red,

chanting

put it in there, your bread & butter, whattaya say now,

chanting in unison

let’s go, here we go, let’s go.

 

I am sitting, next to a teammate in foul territory

on a pile of extra infield dirt

waiting to get in the game,

to fill a hole.

 

My eyes are not thirsty.

 

I am happy

that my left pant leg is streaked,

my hands, caked orange.

 

I am my father’s hand

reaching into his pocket

for some loose change.

 

I am a warm, soft pretzel.

 

I am confetti-tossing a handful of crab grass,

watching the wind blow.

 

I am peeling the leather

off a seam busted baseball

the lawnmower found and spit out

like a sunflower seed.

 

Unravelling enough black yarn

to fly a kite

revealing a small rubber ball.

 

I am inspecting it for meaning

which I do not find.   

 

I am walking by myself at night

to meet Ryan at the rust red storage container.

 

Under the lights we are standing alone in the middle of two fields,

replaying last week’s plays.

 

First pay check folded in our back pockets,

planting posts, assembling the home run fence.

 

I don’t care

if I ever

hit a home run.


 

Read all work by Jacob Winterstein
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