First Edition: Poetry

Opening Day

by al averbach

Don’t play ball.

But there they were.

Adam first, dusting off,

staring at the ground,

unsure how he got on.

Serpent on the mound,

sizing Eve up.

She’s in perfect shape.

He winds and winds,

slings a curve that hangs.

Like a moon it fills her eye.

Unable to resist, she bites:

Bat strong as Adam’s rib,

she jumps the pitch, connects,

whacks it way beyond the trees.

Contact thrilling in her arms,

she follows the ball,

pleasure rising in its fall.

Doesn’t even run.

Her eyes are opened, wide.

Eve it was who drove it out,

woke Adam, sent him home,

put them up, brought them down,

for The Ump showed up, late

and miffed, and roared: Y’r out!

Tossed, the two forfeit,

but ringing proud

that Eve had read the pitch,

had hit her mark;

the instinct she had shown.

Naturals, made to play,

they left to find

another game, some sweats,

somewhere to start again.

Robbed of his starter role,

demoted to the ground,

snake slunk away, but not before

he signed the two for life.

Despite himself, The Ump, mask

pushed back, watched them move on.

Thus the season was begun.


Al Averbach — San Francisco resident, ex–ballplayer, Giants fan — is a regular j. reader. His work has appeared in Ambush Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Bay Area Poets Seasonal Review, Poets 11 2008, California History, and Poetalk, where this poem was published in 2005.