Incremental Poetry ~ 69 Lines


She approached the plate with a look of determination.
Her gloved right hand twirled the bat
as she set first one cleat and then the other,
scuffing small ruts into the sand to improve her footing.
Then lifting the bat into position above her left shoulder,
both hands clutching, elbows high, she waited for the pitch.
A glance at the coach—right hand on his thigh….
a fire burned within her as desire to swing the bat swelled
into a flood of adrenaline and blood.

Like a flash of light the ball came,
then a flash of judgment, then thump!
as she let it fly past and into the catcher’s glove.
“Ball one.”
“Good eye.”

She stepped away, twirled the bat again,
then returned to the plate.
Again the ball left the pitcher’s hand.
Again she eyed it all the way.
Again she let the catcher take it.
“Ball two.”
“Good eye.”

Stepping away, she repeated her habit of twirling,
then approaching the plate and setting her feet.
Another pitch.
“Ball three.”
“Good eye!”

This time she backpedaled further,
releasing tension with a mighty swing.
Then up to the plate.
Another glance at the coach.
His left hand clasped around his right wrist. She knew the sign.
The fourth pitch left the mound and came straight down the line.
She knew she had this one—but the coach had given the sign…
“Strike one!”
“Now you’re ready.”

Stepping back, she shook the tension out of her legs and arms,
then after another empty swing,
returned to the plate and eyed the coach.
Hand on the bill of his cap. Got it.
Salty beads stood on her forehead. Other salt soaked into her batting glove.
Her heart pounded in her ears, but she hardly noticed.
Eyes on the white sphere.
The wind-up and release sent it hurling towards her.
Outside and low, but just barely—and just the way she liked it.
The bat whipped through the air.
Suddenly the ball changed course and flew past first base,
dropping just inside the line, in an empty pocket in right field.
Releasing her grip on the bat, she flew toward first,
rounded the base and kept going.
Then from second to third, where the coach stood yelling,
“Take it! Take it!”
One more turn, and then
“Home run!”

The season has ended, and a new one begun.
The white sphere has been set aside,
for now her life revolves around a man.
Passions rise, and her heart pounds in her ears, but she hardly notices.
Eyes on her beloved, she is focused and waiting
to send him soaring with her love.
Together they watch for the Father to give the sign that says,
“Now you’re ready.”
And when that moment comes,
she will not hesitate
to hit another home run.

Copyright © 2021 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.

Free Verse

an irregular form of poetry in which the content is free of traditional rules of versification, (fixed meter and rhyme).

In the absence of rhyme and meter, free verse depends upon strategic line breaks, alliteration, symmetry among words and phrases, etc. to distinguish this form from prose.

Poets who put free verse on the map include: Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound and T.S.Eliot.

While I love the challenge of a form that constrains me with rhyme and meter, I’ve learned that there’s also a place for the liberty granted by Free Verse. Roughly 11% of all my poems were written using this form. What I like about it is its conversational quality.

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