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POETRY / Home / July Westhale / Writer of the Month


He hits and hits. It’s hitting season, 
and we’ve all come to watch. It’s high-risk.
He could get caught trying to steal. 
He could be off-base, shooting 
for another man’s place like that. 
He looks discouraged. We sing
take me out. Everyone is singing.
Everyone is eating fistfuls 
of peanuts and crackerjacks. He hits.
He gets a fly, by luck. We call this ‘out’. 
He signals to a second man—they will cheat
a third. He hits and hits. He hits a man,
and the man must walk. He strikes,
but does not, himself, get to walk. 

Home has many men. Home is divided. 
Getting there is dirty, and requires hitting
but not striking. It requires switching sides,
and throwing curves. It requires cheating.
The point is: a man gets to go home. 
This is called winning. 

Previously published in The National Poetry Review.

July Westhale is the author of Trailer Trash(winner of the 2016 Kore Press Book Award), The Cavalcade, and Occasionally Accurate Science. Her most recent poetry can be found in The National Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, CALYX, Rappahannock Review, Tupelo Quarterly, RHINO, Lunch Ticket, and Quarterly West. Her essays have been nominated for Best American Essays, as well as the Pushcart prize. She moonlights as a journalist at The Establishment, and has appeared in The Huffington