The Little League World Series: First Play

Teams crowd the hills,
fill in the land along the river,
uniforms, like patches of colorful cows amidst the fields.
All the corn points to the ballpark,
the small town’s downtown leaning in for the anthem.
It’s time to begin: the countries and counties
in parents’ faces shuffle in the stands.
A TV camera shifts to a close-up.
At the plate, a child, half the height of a tractor,
breathes in his heroes, exhales the length of the state.
In the nervous grip of a twelve-year-old:
planting, youth, harvest, old age.


This poem was previously published in When the Wood Clacks Out Your Name and Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania.