To throw a ball so it curves – that is, veers

left or right, up or down unexpectedly –

is an alchemy of physics and flesh,

a lopsiding of ambient pressures.

Your fingers must grip and stretch and twist

at seams, so the ball spins upon release,

as a leaf might whirligig from your hand

if you were a tree in autumn.  That’s when only

the best teams are still playing.  If yours is not,

it’s a long lonely season of staring

with no ball to keep your eye on or hold.