His new Rawlings glove,
dark as rustled hide, lies boned
and contorted into position, locked

about a ball, inner tube
slices like pipewrapper work
wound about it sure as trainer’s tape.

It wears some Atlantic
in it yet, sifted here up the Saugus
River at high tide. He pailed it home

from the reedy bank
like a colonist hurrying to fire,
knowing what the ocean’s mouth’s at.

The salt, he says, holds
in it late in a great game a sure
double in the hole he comes up with.

The inner tube came off a ’55 Chevy
his uncle put 98,000 miles on looking
for a home run, a big hit in the minors,

a sunspot. Now it squeezes
the Atlantic into the Rawlings,
grasping at double-play balls, hot singles.