I loved the Supremes as much as baseball
at eleven, my first base plate a stage.
So in those summertime lulls in action,
all base hits easily thwarted, I sang
the way Diana Ross did—rare and
heavy-lidded, often about some love
that did her wrong. The background girls comcurred.
And I noticed myself changing pronouns,
suddenly aware that the other boys
listened closely to their first baseman,
more now than he had, reminding him
how necessary practice is with pronouns,
converting he to she at every turn;
otherwise a guy on the other team
might get past you, and then another one
could bat him in, the other side winning
and your whole team holding you responsible.
Poems by Forrest Hamer:
TEN: An Anthology of Northern California Poets