Ivan Hobson, "At the Fair's Speed-Pitch Booth"





The batter and catcher are nothing more 

than dim silkscreens on a canvas backstop, 


but when the baseball hits at ninety-two

there is a snap that makes me want it to be real:             


to see this young man on a mound, far         

from his work boots, whatever job he has    


that gave him the scar on his shoulder, 

shaped like the toe of a horseshoe. 


Let him be lucky enough—to have lights

brighter than this midway,


to have more than just me, watching the fire 

he hurls into the belly of the night.



Ivan Hobson’s poetry has appeared in various publications, including North American ReviewFourth River, and Midwest Quarterly, as well as Ted Kooser and The Poetry Foundation’s American Life in Poetry.