“The Cure,” by Katharine Harer

This poem does a great job of capturing that feeling of anxiety and pressure when the outcome of a game is on the line.  Nothing else seems real when you find yourself in that key position of making a deciding play or hit, and everything that is going on around you seems simultaneously immediate and distant.  Written by Katharine Harer, this piece was published in the book Line Drives in 2002.

*

baseball is a good antidote for death
where else do we mutter belief scream
hope over green grass bathed
in light where else do we coach the best
out of one another

it’s all right baby
you can do it
settle down guy
you’ll be okay just hang in there
we need you buddy
we need a spark
be the ignitor man

our whispered pleas combine over rows
of seats and peanut calls and pour into the ears
of our boys fixing them
with our best hope the best we have to give

nowhere else do we do this together
reverently from some untapped place
in our chests saved for our children
and our lovers we thought we’d used it up
but listen to us croon making our voices
carry just the right mixture
of love and demand

our throats are sore
the peanut shells under our feet flattened
from jumping up and sinking down again
our heats extended
pumping belief
into this one afternoon

you can do it
you can do it for us
do it now come on
do it now

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