A foul ball

the baseball comes for your head

in the 8th inning

as you sit in the box seats

a gift from your boss

on your 50th birthday

you spill your beer

(ten bucks a cup!!)

before slipping a hand

inside your little-league glove

and you stand up to catch

the greatest souvenir of your life

but that damn kid in front

jumps higher than you

old man

as she deflects the ball

and it cascades down 

to field level

where some out-of-shape drunk

a Yankee’s fan, no less


picks it up off the beer-sticky floor

and goes home to his kids

with a story to tell

of the day he achieved

a lifelong dream

Robert Bulman is a professor at Saint Mary’s College of California, where poetry seems to hang in the air like smoke. Born in the American Midwest, he grew up in Southern California and then drifted north. He is a cautiously pessimistic emerging middle-aged poet, living and working in Northern California.

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