| Filed under

Contributor: Maureen Kingston

- -
A whole new ball game. He was all balled up
about it--shaking over home plate. What if
he dropped the ball? Made a fielding error?
Lost focus? He must keep his eye on the ball.

He’d been trying to retrain his body for months,
to unlearn the lifelong habit of sleeping
on his stomach, a routine established in the crib.
So far his efforts had been a bust,
the objects of his failure in full view--
an assortment of odd balls on his bedside table.

The ping-pong ball in his pajama pocket
was an early casualty, his first cratered skull.
The slippery golf ball next, rolling silently
out of his pocket in the middle of the night,
breaking right in the rough under the bed.

The tennis ball appeared to be the perfect size--
big enough to irritate, to coax movement,
but not so big he couldn’t sleep through it.
No matter. Size didn’t affect the result.
He awoke, as before, on his belly,
the tennis ball drenched in sweat, suffocated
by the weight of his chest.

He envied his wife, already modified, sleeping
on her side. She’d retrained her body
with a basketball. Nine months pregnant,
she’d been lying on her side for weeks.
She no longer shared his nightmare of crushing
the baby in his sleep. The shot clock was running
down. He’d have to step up his game.

- - -
Maureen Kingston lives in Nebraska.


Powered by Blogger.