Today's poem is by Steve Healey

Lecture on Kickball at Sundown

I was the keynote speaker, not the red ball kicker.
It was the child who kicked the ball, causing it
to roll through the green grass. As the speaker,
I wanted to be factual and natural in describing
how the young person swung a foot with great force
into the strawberry-colored sphere, not like
an old robot. It was classic kicking weather,
not snowy or smoggy. The ball glowed like
an old sun, and out in the field, a team of strawberries
played defense. It was a special game of kickball,
and I was the umpire squatting behind the child.
The strawberries were positioned rhizomatically
in the field. They were ripened to a deep red
embarrassment. The child stood watching the ball
travel across the planet. I said, you must run
like a president or the strawberries will eat you.
I could feel an itch blooming on my perineum.
I wore underwear that had been made in China.
I thought about how a Chinese person had once
touched my underwear. I looked at the strawberries
and saw little red satellites. The ball rolled over
the horizon. The child began to fade.

Copyright © 2010 Steve Healey All rights reserved
from 10 Mississippi
Coffee House Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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