muscles taut,
pulse with tension.
a moment, a pause
before the whoosh

released, relaxed
long thinning of the forearm
extended bat.

the twitch of eye-to-eye
pitcher versus batter
who blinks
when the moment passes?

fine lines deep
around the mouth as
cheek muscles vibrate

like the arm that twitches
beneath the stiff pose

staring down the pitcher’s
ball cradled in fingers
long and curved embrace
a letting go

leading to a blink
a future just past the extension
an arm’s bat –
tense, ready.