From the bench, I stopped daydreaming when Miss Stokes
stepped up to the plate in her collared dress and heels.
I hushed with the other fifth graders. Tapping the bat once
on the asphalt, she faced a pitcher just learning the curveball.
The fielders moved back as Miss Stokes swung and missed, swung
and missed, losing her footing. Then she hit a fly ball that soared
past everyone’s gloves. We all clapped. Her pinch runner
dashed like she did in gym class but what was the hurry?
Miss Stokes pushed back her glasses and smiled in a way
she never did in class, when she kept her brown face blotted
with powder, her voice clipped, sent me out in the hall
if I doodled in the textbook, adding moustaches to the out-of-date
faces of the first U.S. Presidents. Who cared if George
Washington had false teeth? I wanted to read about
Hank Aaron 
and Willie Mays, each with 3,000 hits and counting.
Miss Stokes had to play by the book,
but when she batted, I glimpsed where I wanted to go.