The Game of Catch
Let me first try something idyllic: a ball that moves
between two men. They say a great player manages the thrown
ball’s position—steps forward, steps back—so that the ballappears to move at a constant speed and he’s in the right
place at the right time—stationary fielders rarely make the catch;
so let’s say we’ve got a father with the expected son:me standing still with my hand stretched out—but that won’t work—
the neuropathy has numbed my grip and he’s been dead a year now.
Let me show you instead: two strangers—let me use intercept or seize;along with ways of exerting influence over one’s circumstance—reach
and board in time a train; perceive a glimpse; discern an idea, catch him
unawares, risk a whistle, a catchy tune to catch his eye, he’s a catch,catch his arm, catch him off guard, I’m more of a catcher, catch my drift,
catch you later, catch up, did you catch my mistake? can’t catch a break,
catch the news? guys have been catching something,there are worse things you can catch, don’t let it catch you
with your pants down, you’ll catch your death, who’s catching
what, what are we catching, what’s left to catch, catchin my voice, catch my breath, no—it’s when small blue flame
ignites kindling; the kind of catch that’s alone in itself the thing
one avoids: a snag or a hitch, a trick you don’t see; catchnot a ball from the far side at all, never the both of us standing
on the grass in a yard, catch not a net full of anything you’d want,
not catch he’s quite a catch, but catch he’s got it and now: catch!so do I. Catch where the catch is out-there unexpected,
inevitable, and—standing still or not—headed right for you.
Copyright © 2018 by Noah Stetzer
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission
Noah Stetzer is the author of Because I Can See Needing A Knife (Red Bird, 2016), a Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference work-scholar, & poetry editor at A&U: America’s AIDS Magazine. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Noah’s work has appeared at New England Review, Nimrod, and as part of the HIV: Here & Now Project (Indolent Books). He lives in the Washington, D.C. area.
Bellevue Literary Review is a unique literary magazine that examines human existence through the prism of health and healing, illness and disease. Each issue is filled with high quality, easily accessible poetry, short stories, and essays that appeal to a wide audience of readers. Because of the universal themes, many readers feel a personal connection to the BLR and find reflections of their own lives and experiences. The BLR is published twice a year by the Department of Medicine at NYU School of Medicine.