for Doug Fowler
In the noon-swelter, dust
hanging over the infield like red fog, we stand at the
of the grass and watch the ball draw white arcs
toward home, the umpire easing back on his heels,
a coach behind the backstop
for Bob Hill
First a tumble of clouds, muscular and black, full of noise,
then a star in a rift, remote
as a promise you intended to keep. A moon, of course,
or half a moon battering those clouds with metallic light.
In my perfect night I hang this
I know you're restless,
the fields are drifting again into waxy shadows, waxy sky.
Still, I'm glad you've come
to keep me company under these fine stars and red moon,
especially here where the river sheds its trees
and all down the bank these stones [...]
Once I saw a gull catch a line in mid-air.
Climbing until the slack ran out,
it snapped back like a white feather on the end of a whip
and fell into the sea.
We've all swallowed a line or two,
a real estate deal, some bad investment of faith,