A Hundred Gourds 2:3 June 2013
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page 14  

Jim Sullivan - USA


I'm playing first base and watching the pitcher, knowing there is one out and a man on first. I go through the mantra: hold the runner on first, prepare for a ground ball, chase down a foul ball. The batter grounds to third. Our third baseman catches the grounder, pivots, and throws to second. With no breath, I move to the left and flick at the base with my foot.

After catching the throw from third, the second baseman steps on the bag, turns, and throws the ball to me. . . The ball appears suspended somewhere between second and first. It hangs there. Time stops. No one moves in my field of vision, no sound. I have time to float upward and see all the players, all the parts of a dusty ballet. Breathing stops, heart stops, I step up and outside and watch a dusty swirl. The night is calm and quiet and full of players looking at me.

I feel the runner nearing the base, hear his steps, then the hit of the ball in my glove. It happens, three outs.

fist bumps all around
communion on the bench


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