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By Dan Liberthson

Senior warrior, counselor,
he crouches at the still center,
then sets the world spinning
with the minutest sign:
the diamond breaks light
into prismatic motion,
and all the game's colors
bloom from his glove.

Bat smolders orange with energy
sucked from the earth through
the batter's tensile trunk and arms,
then flares red ripping
to meet the icehard ball
that dips, dense blue,
curves, elusive green,
waits, slow rust dream, or
melts whitehot with speed.
He sets all this in motion,
sits back and watches
for a fugitive eternity until
bat cracks ball, time begins,
the play explodes and then,
like every other player
on that field of chance—no!
more naked than any other
despite the armor he wears,
shorn of all his powers save
the flesh of his sacrificial body,
he stands like a wooden idol
blocking the path of the force
he has let loose:
unbroken light lancing around
the diamond, burning home.


DAN LIBERTHSON lives in San Francisco, writes poetry and fiction, and works as a consulting medical writer when not sitting in Pac Bell Park rooting for the Giants. His lifelong love of baseball began in Little League play and was nurtured by a passion for his hometown Rochester Red Wings. A onetime English professor, he is now working on a book of poems about baseball.

© 2002 Dan Liberthson


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