From sideline perspectives the pitches
never seem so fast and breaking
curves appear to arc gracefully

Even the bleachers
could be cushioned
theater seats where
fictional disasters
are dismissed as

Like punks who back away
from fair fights and then
grow confident in distance,
trembling threats made steady
with the impeccable timing of a late
loud baseball fathers
are the worst bullies.

On deck the young sons hold their bats with fixed hands,
pose heroic stances. But they’re just kids.
Emulations loosen when the hard ball is released.

And that’s fine.

With time, with living,
they’ll stand firmly
in the box or in some
other bordered place
of their own choosing.

Sit loud baseball fathers in stadiums where men play.
Make them watch, unprotected, as professionals
swing aluminum bats, blasting line drives
foul. Force them to remember that forgotten
fear of facing rolling red seams.

The results could be deadly.
Why major leaguers bat with wood.
Why box seats stay expensive.