Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Will We Survive?

Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate

In this troubled period of our history when humans face a multitude of challenges, Peter Harris of Waterville finds hope for us in the double-play he witnessed at a baseball game.

Will We Survive? by Peter Harris

Maybe if we all become that second baseman
who sprinted right, dove, snagged the grounder,
thudded to a stop, too late to get up and change
hands, too late to do anything but what he could
not do, had never tried, could not have done if he had tried:
shovel the gloved ball backhanded over his back,
without looking, to the shortstop. No,
not to the shortstop, but to where the shortstop
would be when he flew across the bag,
barehanded the ball, toed the bag, swiveled,
elevated above the spikes-up, take-out slide,
high enough to make the throw
to first for the double play. Game over.
The not-doable, done. No sound at all inside
the redundant thunder of applause.

Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2013 Peter Harris. Reprinted from Freeing the Hook, Deerbrook Editions, by permission of Peter Harris. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at mainepoetlaureate@gmail.com or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.