Last Fielder

I’m always last fielder.

I never get to bat

during noontime recess.

The bell always rings and

we have to go to English class.

Our teacher is big,

big as a Sherman tank,

an Amazon woman.


When she tells me to go

to the blackboard and

diagram a stupid sentence,

I don’t say no. I go.


A town kid taped

a tack to her chair.

She sat on it. Didn’t flinch!


Gerunds, adverbs: do they

diagram up or down?

Do they go with nouns, verbs?

Nobody cares. I don’t.

I’m going to be a logger
drive truck, a bulldozer,

go to movies, drink beer,

not a last fielder.

               7th Grade, 1945-46                                 

               Concrete, Washington