Long Toss

by Todd Herges


On the occasion of a young daughter’s unaccompanied airline trip to Chicago

Quietly at the top of his cellular voice,
he calls out to the far-off teammate,
who waits with glove open wide, held chest-high:
“You ready?  Here she comes!”

Ball securely in hand he rears back, kicks high,
and in mental slow-motion lets her fly.
Hope mixes with regret
as he watches the precious pill leave his hand,
a gleaming streaming bullet
arcing eastward toward O’Hare.
His toss is long, thrown out of sight,
and satisfaction from seeing
the entire flight – from his fingers to distant mitt – is lost,
absent the echoed smack
of ball meeting leather.

Alone in his car two hours west of Omaha,
he hears the ball’s just-caught voice:  “I’m here.”
Each day will seem a year
until he safely catches her back again.


Posted 4/20/09

Published in Fans, Free Verse, Youth | Link to this poem | No Comments

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