Baseball Magazine

“Crossing Enemy Lines,” by Kristin Bush

By Precious Sanders @pdsanders99

Working in education myself, I find I can identify with a lot in this poem. But whether it is school or business or any other kind of official type of environment, most folks we interact with have different personas in other surroundings.

*

I had planned this evening for weeks.
A beautiful May night at the ballpark with friends.
But now, due to circumstances beyond my control
Because I live in a community where everyone is related to everyone else,
Two of my tickets were given to

My student.

And not just any student–
The one who caws like a crow out my window daily–
The one who groans in exasperation whenever he’s asked to do
Anything beyond breathing–
The one who raises his hand to respond to every question but whose answers
Come from his bottomless pit of irrelevant responses–
The bane of my existence: the sophomore boy.
Sworn enemies.

Seven rows up on the right field line
His dad between us as a buffer zone,
We sat in seats so close you could see
the scuffs on Cliff Floyd’s cleats.
“Prime foul ball territory,” I said to him.
He just nodded as we rose for the national anthem.
By the first inning, we were
Awkward adversaries on neutral ground.

We groaned as Uggla and Cabrera launched white missiles into the stands–
Our team in the hole right off the bat.
We found ourselves heckling the other bullpen–together.
By the fifth inning, we were
wary allies.

We buried our faces at a 3 K performance by Soriano–
(Shouldn’t he be good on his own bobblehead night?)
The game was a rout,
So we leaned forward eagerly and swapped autograph war stories,
Laughing and joking around his dad.

Politely and unprompted, he looked me in the eye and said,
“Thank you for the tickets.”
By the ninth inning, I could see David as
A civil human being.

Later I heard he said, “She’s pretty cool, when she’s not in class.”

I agreed.


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