Here’s a piece that was published alongside “Patient Hitter” in Resin from the Rain in April 2002. Here we see the other side of the battle in the pitcher-hitter showdown. The juxtaposition of these two poems reminds me of a Spanish poem my class read in high school, “El Matador,” by Rafael Alberti, which features a conversation between a matador and a bull. I love the mind games and the stare-down atmosphere involved.
They expect a fireballer—
Someone stronger, taller
Than me. I nick edges, tantalize,
Induce flail and lunge and cries.
Curve, splitter, sinker, change—six
Different speeds and infinite tricks—
Power. Shake off signs, rinse
My craft with resin, climb
The slope and break their rhythm,
No matter if the crowd is with them.
We’ll take their tappers and pop-ups any time.
And, yes, we need our team camaraderie
Or risk assault-and-battery.