– Poetry by Mark Gordon –
The changeup confuses the batter looking
for speed but finding floating over the plate
He licks his lip, grits his teeth, spits
a wad of tobacco at the wind. And sure
enough as he twists, the strike is called
before the ball reaches the catcher’s mitt.
The contemplative Greeks
would call it metanoia, filled with regret.
I have mine. I felt it today when I walked
with her past the grand stone houses,
saw the lawns, the winter fallen branches
gathered and tied by the curb.
The lives that could’ve been,
the children, the cries, the laughter
of toddlers amid kittens. The swimming pools
the gatherings, the celebrations of births,
the everyday communal lives.
But we do what we do. We walk
down the lane named for a politician.
Breathe in the air, look at the tall
elegant trees. We are the changes a lifetime
has made, has deposited in our gait.
And I remember being fooled as a kid
more than once by a changeup. I stand
there befuddled, bat in hand, before
I knew metanoia existed, the Greeks
and their time-torn stories, the sadness
of choosing one path