February 5, 2023


Three of the 8th graders have a ballgame
after school, and I’m invited.
The girls play with sweat and play to win.
At this age the level of play is less
than its importance is in life. The sky
above Central Park is brilliant, as if
it had chosen to be the very place
a white ball could rise in searching
open grass to land in, clearing the bases.
Last night Henry wrote “of the river rising
at last above its banks, and my spirits
rise with it.” After graduation
a girl who spoke little,
more often leaving than arriving,
pushed forward her younger brother
who, without a pause, “what a wonder
her teacher was this year, caring,
sensitive, inspiring,” grinning, the boy
stood like a red and white can
spraying whipped cream, then they left:
he the adverb, his sister the verb.