EPIC Poetry Group: Poet’s Corner — Rough Diamond Warriors, Finally I Pass Middle School English

Poet’s Corner is presented by the Edmonds-based EPIC Poetry Group.

Rough Diamond Warriors

dedicated to the players on the Edmonds-Woodway baseball team, past, present, and future 

They play in the mud
in the abounding rain
streams of water sliding
off the catcher’s mask
into the puddle behind home plate

The pitcher scrapes the slick ball
against his saturated polyester jersey
an incantation to dry as
his sharp cleats try to catch
hold of the ever eroding mound

The coaches and umpires stand by with towels
wiping the once white orb
now the color of the storming sky
a blur for batter or fielder
a phantom speeding through the sodden air

Leather gloves smelling like wet animal
soppy cotton socks with striped stirrups
a dugout full of hooded heads
staring out onto the fenny field
spoiling for a hit to end this soggy game

The folks in the stands hide under a bouquet of umbrellas
Wrapped up in coats and blankets
clapping their gloved hands with muffled cheer
sipping snack stand coffee to support the team
friends and family defining the word fanatic

Northwest high school boys with barely beards
season spans from moody March to May
run fast, throw hard, make the polished plays
slog through game after gutsy game
almost men striving to be the boys of summer

Cynthia Hénon

~ ~ ~ ~

Finally I Pass Middle School English

I got a D in Grammar
7th Grade English
Mrs. Dean’s bouffant hairdo
her cat eye glasses on a chain
her vacuous voice flossing my mind vacant
her sentence diagrams in
white chalk choking the blackboard

She resembled one of those people
her charm bracelet jingling she might
run her sharp nails down the center of the board
quieting unruly pupils
waking the adolescent dead

She decorated her classroom with posters
Posters of poems and pithy sayings

“No Man Is an Island”
floated above her head
a life raft
holding my attention rapt
a message in a bottle

I sat in the back of the class
alphabetized with the in girls
watching in quiet curiosity as
they passed folded notes between soft girlish
hands glittering with pink nail polish

All these years I’ve held tight
my knee jerk teen age reaction to
old Mrs. Dean

now I’ve graduated to her age
it amuses me to ponder
how only a mad magical genius
papers her walls with poetry

Cynthia Hénon

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cynthia Hénon is a poet, yoga teacher, and full time Mama. She proudly participates in the monthly EPIC Poetry Group and her work can be found in their recent anthology, Soundings of the Salish Sea. She lives with her family in beautiful Edmonds.

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