Strikeout by Stacey Balkun

September 8, 2013
By

By Stacey Balkun

Love note for Marianne Moore, 1887-1972, American modernist poet and baseball fan.

Marianne—I’m running out
of time. I’m reading you again, marking

the pages like a cryptic playbook;
I’m pasting your face to the corner

of my mirror. I like televised sports
well enough but the stadium is so loud

I can’t hear the players’ poems as they rush
around the bases. Marianne, will I ever get up

off this bench? I can’t find the souvenir-to-be,
meant to be caught by you or me. I can’t catch.

I’m already sprinting counter-clockwise.
I’m watching the second hand so closely

that I can see its reflex—that tiny tick
backward, as if giving the past a second chance.

________________________________________________________

Marianne MooreStacey Balkun’s work has appeared (or will soon appear) in The Los Angeles Review, THRUSH, Bodega, Perfume River Poetry Review, and others. Stacey was named a finalist for the Tupelo Press Spring 2011 Poetry Project and the Tucson Festival of the Book 2013 Literary Awards, and received the 2013 C.G. Hanzlicek Poetry Writing Fellowship. Stacey served as Artist-in-Residence at the Smoky Mountains National Park in the summer of 2013. She lives and writes in California.

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