McNair to Hall: August 30, 1980 (2)


[Click image to view]

August 30, 1980

Dear Don,

Yes, a later revision of the poem I just
sent. Nor does this revision rid me of
apprehensions – though I do think the title (my original one)
is better, along with the description of the
second baseman, and the fielders with their gloves.

Here it is anyway, with apologies
for the confusion I’m causing.



P.S. (August 31) – Diane told me
yesterday of your congratulations and of
the significance of “placement” in
Poetry. Both things make me very happy.
And they remind me that I owe
Joey $6.00_, which I send with profoundest
gratitude to both of you.


The girl with mild eyes stands
with both feet on first base,
and the shortstop smiles at nothing
he can remember exactly.
Now the large-faced boy on second
raises his hands, making the precise shape
of a ball. The ball
is already over the outfield.
Some are watching it fall,
an outfielder, the astonished batter
beginning to run. Slowly they see
it is time to wave their arms
and let their voices go. Slowly, joyfully,
the fielders are throwing their gloves,
and the batters are jumping
higher and higher in this moment
for which they have come,
this forgetting so complete
they do not know why they are shouting.