in the helmet, to get situated.
The girl between second and third is punching her mitt, bobbing like a cocky boxer. Punch,
bob, punch, bob in perfect time. She is tall and fast and has a haircut like David Bowie.
This girl between second and third knows something about herself no one else on or near
this diamond is gifted enough to know about their own personal selves. But they all know it
about her. Her grace is easy to see.
This is what she knows. Zero of the infinite things that might happen in the next few seconds
can beat her. She knows it as surely as she knows the chopped up dirt between her bases, or
gravity. She will know it forever. And though the knowledge is helpful now, its best gifts
will come long after she stops running around on diamonds.
All the girls behind her know it. Their collective confidence erupts, a little fire made ravenous
by the wind.
Her mom, sneaking a smoke behind the stands, knows it. She is amazed by it. Maybe she
has some of it too, somewhere inside. Maybe she'll find it someday.
Her dad, watching a ball game on TV at home, knows it in the misty way of people who
don't have the right words to give shape to their thoughts.
The girl on the hill with the ball knows it. She glances back at the girl between second
and third, and turns to stare at the girl in the helmet.
The girl in the helmet knows it. She steps into the box anyway. What else can she do?
These are the rules.
The girl between second and third isn't bobbing anymore, but bent low, legs wide,
glove in the dirt, eyes on the bat.
Ten girls on a diamond, not milling anymore, but waiting, still and ready, here together in
the instant before something happens. Everyone knows. The sun's still out.
Done for A., to keep one promise, at least.