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POETRY

The Player to Be Named Later
By Hannah Wilson

is trolling the outfield at Civic Stadium
in a game his Single A team is leading
by one heart-stopping squeeze at the plate.
In the eighth, two on, two out,
he begins his run at the whack
of the bat, mapping the ball's arc in the lights,
and believing
that if he jumps at just the right second
his mitt at arm-splitting stretch, he'll catch
ball and cheers and eye of scout,
and one day make it
all the way to "The Show."

Or he's a boy swinging with his eyes closed, the count
three and two. He is ignoring his coach—
make sure it's your pitch—because he doesn't know
what his pitch is. He'd rather be kicking rocks
at the river. Then, maybe he hears
the whiff of air, he swings
the ball hits the fence and he's in there
for a stand-up triple, for the end of the season
and the seasons after, until he gives up
waiting for next year.

While somewhere else others wait
for the team captain to say, yeah, you;
the admissions officer, we're happy to; the lover, Yes,
the doctor, No; the boss, you're on,
the way we all wait
hoping that whatever we're named for
will be what we've craved, that whoever
calls us up, will take us
all the way to wherever we've always longed to go.

—EFQ


HANNAH WILSON was a longtime contributor to Elysian Fields Quarterly. She passed away on October 17, 2004, but friends and family are sure she had a hand in the Red Sox' improbable sweep—and that she'll be smiling kindly on the Cubs during the coming season.

© 2005 Hannah Wilson

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