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.
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