Yesterday at batting practice
Froggy got a mouse
he watched, dead still,
as one of Piotr's fastballs came
and caught him in the face.
A straight, no fooling thud.
Piotr ran and kissed him
where the mouse would be, crooning Polish.
Froggy is a car mechanic, his big
meaty hands are nicked all over,
half the nails are blue.
He put an arm around Piotr,
crooning back. The pitcher
gave him three or four more kisses,
loud smacks across the knuckles,
then they laughed.
I tried to picture
something like this in the States.
Maybe at a nursery school you'd see it,
where people have good manners, love,
and other things to teach
but not on any fields that I knew of.
Gary Gildner, Blue Like the Heavens: New and Selected Poems, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1984.