Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Homering Among the Pines
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Edward Rielly of Westbrook writes of today’s poem: “Growing up on a small farm...I enlisted the pine trees in our yard as baseball teammates. Pine cones abounded, and although they did not carry as well as a baseball, I never had to retrieve them.”
Homering Among the Pines by Edward J. Rielly
With my old, pockmarked bat, but without a ball, I played the game as perfectly as any summer hero. I used, instead,the pine cones that dropped at random from the pines overhead littering the lawn, shooting out of the lawnmower against my legsas I mowed, but ready to fill the air with home runs when I turned to sport. The small dry cones whizzed like insects at the momentI stroked them, fluttering like butterflies when their velocity suddenly declined. Oh, how I hit those brown cones, and sometimes,lining one just right with my bat between layers of wind, I sent it high up through dark branches, returning to whence it came, and allthe invisible baseball spirits on all my invisible bases raced for home as I dropped my bat and waved to the surrounding wind.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2007 Edward J. Rielly. Reprinted from Old Whitman Loved Baseball and Other Baseball Poems, Moon Pie Press, 2007, by permission of Edward J. Rielly. Please note that the column is no longer accepting submissions; comments about it may be directed to special consultant to the poet laureate, Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, at email@example.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.