Brief Guide to Playing Right Field
No need to bring a glove
when all the action is somewhere else.
Better to have a book on hand,
to bide your time by listing
the state birds or capitals,
or to stand like a weed
on the same sparse patch—
to sway at the faintest breeze.
Avoid dwelling on every error:
the bad hops and botched flies,
the admonishment of your coaches
to keep your head in the game.
Practice the gentle art of acquiescence.
Let the bossy middle infielders
shift you around the grass,
shade you shallow or deep.
Be alert for signs of munificence:
those rare moments the sun
slips behind clouds as if for a drink;
the chatter of your teammates,
like prayer or a chant for rain;
the overweight umpire’s coming out
between batters as if preparing for guests
as he whisks the plate of dust.
(from Row House Yards, Pudding House Publications, 2011)